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(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Denmark defeat Germany to top group
Date: 10/31/2020 6:26 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
In a repeat of the 2018 semifinal, top-seeded Denmark defeated Germany 3-2 in the battle to win their group. 

The tie opened with a mixed doubles thriller. Matthias Kicklitz/Thuc Phuong Nguyen dropped the first game 17-21. In both the second and third games, they trailed at the mid-game interval but emerged victorious against Mads Vestergaard/Clara Lober in 41 minutes. 

- It is a really good feeling to win the opening match, Nguyen was ecstatic.

-They played a lot of flat game with us. I was not ready for that. Later, we covered the mid-court really well and followed up to the net. So, it was hard for them to find open spaces on the court, Kicklitz explained. 

- We have to play safe, not make too many early mistakes, and take our chances, Nguyen added further. 

Ready to play
Germany’s early lead was neutralised by the sixth seed Magnus Johannesen in the men’s singles. He held off a stiff resistance by Kilian Ming-Zhe Maurer in the second game as he won 21-12, 22-20. 

-The sides were a little different. In the first game, I had the wind but it was against me in the second. I played very short. I talked with my coach and started playing with better length on clears, Johannesen analysed. 

-It was nice to win in two games. Since this was my first match here, it was a bit hard to play. My practice with seniors has been going well and I feel ready to play again, he continued.   

Going all the way
Soon enough, Benedicte Sillassen put Denmark in an advantageous position at 2-1. She saw off Leona Michalski 21-15, 21-14.

- I was a bit nervous at the start. As I got into the match, I felt more relaxed. Playing with the Centre of Excellence players helps me a lot. They are very good players, Sillassen said. 

- We can go all the way if we play really well. Since the other teams are also good, it is going to be tricky, she was straightforward.

Winning the tie
In a high-quality men’s doubles, the second seeds William Kryger Boe/Mads Vestergaard went toe-to-toe with the Germans throughout the match. They managed to win in two straight games 21-18, 25-23, thereby justifying Denmark’s seeding. 

- We are happy about the victory over Germany. It was always going to be a tough match. They have a strong team but we handled the situation well, Boe reflected.

- We kept our calm. We have some great serves and returns and focused on them towards the end. When the rallies got going, we played soft shots, Vestergaard said.

- I was disappointed after the mixed doubles. It was very close and could have been a victory for us. But I played very well in the men’s doubles, he continued.

- Our main goal is to win the title, Boe concluded. 

The German women’s doubles pair Leona Michalski/Thuc Phuong Nguyen gave their team a consolation win in the end 21-18, 21-16. 

It will be interesting to watch if the eleven-time and four-time former champions, Denmark and Germany respectively can come up with the goods to reclaim the title, but face tough opposition with the likes of two-time defending champions, France. 

The draw for the quarterfinals will be held live tonight after play ends on the Badminton Europe Facebook page. 
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