Photo: Badmintonphoto
First final ever for the Dutch
Date: 2/15/2020 9:48 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

The Netherlands will be playing Denmark in the 2020 European Men’s Team Championships Final.

It was as entertaining as expected: The Netherlands vs. France was great promotion for the sport of badminton, and the crowd watched a semifinal they will remember for some time.

The Netherlands got the first point on the scoreboard due to the win of Mark Caljouw in the first men’s singles. The Dutch ace won a thriller opening match in three games, 21-13 15-21 21-19, against Brice Leverdez.

- I think I played very well in the first game, but I knew that Brice could play better than that. It was quite even in the second game, but I was off to a good start in the third game. I had a big lead in the third game, and I had to kill it and not letting him back, Caljouw said.

Popov on the scoreboard
Christo Popov made it all even winning in straight games, 21-16 21-13, against Joran Kweekel.

- Brice lost the first match, so I am happy to win the first point for the team. It is very competitive. Every match is almost 50-50, Christo Popov said.

- He was more stressed than me. He did a lot of easy mistakes and I just tried to get the shuttle going and it worked.

2-1 for the Dutch
Before today’s match Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling had 1-0 against French Ronan Labar/Thom Gicquel, but the home crowd favourites got the best start winning the first game 21-10. 

In the second game the Dutch got the upper hand and took the second game easily 21-11. The good streak continued for Maas and Tabeling in the third game, and the Netherlands took the lead 2-1 winning the decider 21-12.

- In the second and third game we mixed it up and made the court a bit bigger, and they struggled with it, Maas said.

Winner takes it all
Before today’s semifinal Wessel van der Aar had only played four singles matches on international level, and against the 2018 European Junior Men’s Singles Champion, the Dutch did what he could. Arnaud Merkle won the first game 21-13 before the Dutch had to withdraw due to an injury. 

2-2 before the final men’s doubles: Ruben Jille/Ties van der Lecq against the Popov brothers, Toma Junior and Christo. It was simple: The winner goes to the final against Denmark.

Walking onto the court is was clear that the Popov’s were ‘in the box’, while the Dutch looked more relaxed, and maybe there was a reason: The Dutch got the perfect start leading 11-5 at the interval, and they won the first game 21-15.

- We were super prepared to work on court. We knew that the first men’s singles and the first men’s doubles were chances for us to win, and it played out like that. We were super ready to play, Ruben Jille said.

In the second game things turned and the Popov’s took the lead at the interval 11-5. The French won the second game 21-14.

Denmark vs. Netherlands
The winner took it all – and on Saturday the Dutch team was the ones. Jille and van der Lecq won the final game 21-18 and the Netherlands is ready to play Denmark in the final on Sunday.

- Denmark is favourite, but we will at least give them a good fight. We will not go down without a fight, Jille mentioned.

It will be the first ever European Men’s Team Championships final for the Dutch team.

Remember that you can watch all matches from all courts on

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