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(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Focus, fight and win
Date: 11/4/2020 7:34 AM
Published by : Yash Sharma
With the kickstarting of the individual matches at the European Junior Championships 2020, it was all about getting a feel of the tournament for many men’s singles players. They overcame the first-day jitters, kept up their focus, and took a step further towards the podium.

Tauri Kilk came back from behind in both games to win against Juuso Kuoppala in two games 21-17, 22-20. Trailing 4-10 in the second, he had to compose himself. 

- I had to really focus to come back in the second game because I had lost the concentration at the start. Maybe, I had a better day. 

The Estonian could barely contain his excitement talking about a historic bronze in the team event. 

- Everyone is so proud and delighted. It’s amazing! We haven’t celebrated but it feels awesome. 

He will have a tough job tomorrow as he faces one of the favourites Magnus Johannesen. The Dane has been look strong so far, especially in the team final against France. 

It’s all about the focus
In his first match of the tournament, Callum Smith had an easy win. He defeated Ivan Kovacevic 21-10, 21-16 in 23 minutes. With Scotland not participating in the group event, he felt slightly disadvantaged. 

- It feels a lot different from the normal tournaments. Playing in the team event gives a feel of the hall. It is a bit difficult but you just have to accept it. 

- I had to get in the zone and keep myself pumped up. I knew I was going to make a few mistakes. Towards the end, I told myself to just keep focusing and I was going to be alright. Luckily, I was. I am hoping for a medal but let’s see. 

Møller survives a scare 
On his way to the Slovenia Junior title in September, Mads Møller dominated Rok Kuprivec in the quarterfinals on home soil, 21-1, 21-8. However, the Slovenian ran him close today.

After pocketing the opening game 21-9 and leading 11-10 in the second, he looked set to have an easy win. 

- I had a lead in the second game at the mid-game interval. Then, I started playing a little bit bad. I didn’t play my game and suddenly lost my level. He took some points but I had good communication with my coach. We handled it together and I had the win. 

A brilliant comeback
Down 18-12, the second seed made an incredible comeback as he took nine of the last ten points to make it to the next round.
 
- He had started playing better and made some good strokes. We talked about it. I had to just play my game and that would be enough to win.

The Dane will take on his compatriot Christopher Vittoriani tomorrow. He has a favourable 1-0 record. 

Tactics and fighting spirit
In the only singles match that went the distance, Yanis Gaudin overcame Filip Karlborg. The seventh seed had a slow start as he lost the first game 21-17.

- It is very difficult to start in a tournament and especially against a good opponent. 

Once he settled into the match, he outplayed his opponent to win 21-12, 21-15 in the following games. 

- I managed very well towards the end of the match. I am very glad about it. When I lifted, it was very short. My coach told me to control the net and we did it. 

- I was a bit stressed, but I kept fighting and focused on the tactic till the very end. I am proud about that and I am very focused for the next match.  

Watch all matches on badmintoneurope.tv
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