(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Spain stun Serbia to top group
Date: 10/31/2020 1:01 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
On the final day of the group stages at the EJC20, there is still so much to play for. Today’s ties will establish which teams enter tonight’s draw for the knockout stage. Spain really turned it up against Serbia and stole the show. 

Although both Spain and Serbia were already through, having both defeated Italy and Lithuania’s withdrawal, there was a lot of passion on court. The winner of this match would top the group and have a better draw in the quarterfinals. 

Serbia came into the tournament as the number three seeds and Mihajlo Tomic/ Andjela Vitman scored an early straight game win in the mixed doubles over Salvador Franco/ Maria De La O Perez. 

In the men’s singles, the solid Sergej Lukic took on Miguel Esteve. The Spaniard would take a lot of confidence from their previous encounter just last month at the Slovenia Junior International which in a tight three-game match, he won. It was the same again this time, but Esteve was able to win more definitively in the third game, 21-13. He put that down the loud Spanish support. 

-The team support is very important. I felt them on court and thanks to them I win the match.

Similarly, Lucia Rodriguez had played her opponent, Marija Sudimac, in Slovenia. However, while that was a dominant last month, today went down to the wire, 21-19 in the third game. 

-I am very happy with the win. It was important that I focused at the key moments and used the energy from my team. 

Very emotional
Spain was just one win away from a major upset. In the men’s doubles, the strong Serbian duo of Sergej Lukic/ Mihajlo Tomic took on Jacobo Fernandez/ Ruben Garcia. The Spanish pair got off to a brilliant start winning the opening game 22-20. The Serbians were not happy with this beginning. 

- We started without energy and speed, but in the end, we managed to take our points, Tomic stated. 

As he alludes to, they began to get control of the match and won the subsequent games 21-17, 21-14 to make the tie 2-2 with it all to play for. 

-I think we can do it. It’s 2-2 and the women’s doubles will decide now who wins the group, Lukic said with a chuckle. 

The four women deciding the fate of their nations were Sara Loncar/ Andjela Vitman of Serbia and Candela Arcos/ Lucia Rodriguez for Spain. The volume in the arena increased for this pivotal match, which helped Rodriguez, who was riding the wave from her earlier win, and Arcos. Taking the initiative they stormed to a 21-16, 21-12 win, securing top spot in their group. 

- We are very is very easy to play with a team supporting us like this, Arcos said with a huge smile on her face and pointing towards her team who were ready to celebrate with them. 

Rodriguez said in Spanish while running to her team ‘I cannot believe we did it’. The whole Spanish team were jumping around and shouting with joy, before taking a photo together with the scoreboard. This is what it is all about. 
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