Photo: Mark Phelan
- It all depends on the Stoeva Sisters
Date: 6/19/2020 1:37 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

Two of the biggest stars can be the difference between qualification or not for Bulgaria.

In recent years Bulgarian players have delivered good results at the European Championships, at the European Games and at the European Circuit. In late 2020 Bulgaria will try to qualify for the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships – the draw will be conducted in early July – and one of the players, who have to perform on his top level for that to happen, is Alex Vlaar.

Vlaar, 23, recently partnered up with Peyo Boichinov in the men’s doubles, and their goal is to qualify for the European Championships and the World Championships, but it is fair to say that the Bulgarian men’s doubles will walk on court with minimum pressure.

All on Stoevas
Two of the players, who for sure will feel the pressure from the Bulgarian fans are the Stoeva Sisters. Gabriela and Stefani are the top women’s doubles of Europe, and Alex Vlaar has a clear opinion: The Bulgarian chances in the qualification goes hand in hand with the participation of the sisters.

- On paper we have a quite strong team, but it all depends on if the Stoeva sisters are willing to play. If they play, they secure our team one point and that will give confidence to the other players. On a good day I believe we can give many countries a tough time, Vlaar stated.

At the European Games 2019 Alex Vlaar and Mariya Mitsova beat Jakub Bitman/Alzbeta Basova (Czech Rep.) and Oliver Schaller/Celine Burkart (Switzerland) in the group stage and put up a good fight against Chris and Gabby Adcock before losing to the European Games bronze medalists, Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue in the quarterfinals. 

Not a medal contender

That result shows that Bulgaria also have a competitive mixed double for team events, but it is too early to name Bulgaria as one of the title contenders.

- We are trying our best that is for sure and we have some promising ladies in the juniors who are doing very well. Maybe if they get the right training and keep improving, they can get to a high level and play for the medals in the future, Alex Vlaar said.

In 2018 Bulgaria did not make it to the European Mixed Team losing to Ireland in the qualification stage. In 2011 Bulgaria reached the quarterfinals at the European Mixed Team Championships, which is still their best result.

Do you want to know more about the #EMTC21? Take a look here

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