Photo: Austrian Badminton Association
Czech Rep. wins the ‘Clash of Neighbours’
Date: 12/11/2020 5:56 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

A new chapter to the rivalry was written in Austria when the Czech Republic and Slovakia met in the qualification for the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships. 

You do not find many rivalries like the one between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Until 1 January 1993 they competed under the same flag, and some of the current players were born before the two countries split. Today in Linz, Austria, at the qualification Group 3, it was easy to see that this tie nobody wanted to lose.

- We treat them as brothers and sisters. We really like all of them, and obviously there is a lot of extra support from the Slovak side, when they know we play the Czechs, because we always want to prove that we can beat them and do better, Slovak men’s singles and mixed doubles player Milan Dratva said.

Thrilling opener
Dratva and Katarina Vargova won the opening game of the tie, the mixed doubles, in three games, 21-19 18-21 21-11, against Ondrej Král and Sabina Milova.

- We did not change a thing, but it just started to click, and our strategy started to work very well. We got familiar with each other on court, and that made all the difference.

- We started to play like a team and not as two individuals, Milan Dratva said.

Tereza Svábíková did not give Martina Repiska many chances in the second match of the tie. The Czech youngster won in straight games 21-8 21-15 against Repiska, who is ranked 40 spots above Svábíková on the world ranking.

Also in the men’s singles, the Czech Republic had the upper hand. Before today’s match, Jan Louda had beaten Milan Dratva twice on the international stage, and now it has been three in a row for Louda. The world number 194 won 21-19 21-13.

- I struggled in both games with the serve. It was about who takes the net and attacking, Louda said.

Solid win
Leading 2-1 before the women’s doubles it was clear that the Czech team was the favourites to win the tie, and Tereza Svábíková and Katerina Tomalova delivered. 

The two singles players won in straight games, and Adam Mendrek and Ondrej Král followed up winning the men’s doubles. Czech Republic won the clash against Slovakia 4-1.

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