(Photo: Alan Spink)
Versatile England score another 4-1 win
Date: 12/11/2020 8:44 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
It was the clash of the winners from yesterday’s opening day of Group 1. England took on Estonia in an attempt to all but secure qualification from the group. 

With England’s strength in depth, changes were made in both singles and the mixed doubles. Chloe Birch also played with her usual partner, Lauren Smith.
First up was the men’s singles with the young talent of Harry Huang against Mikk Järveoja. The 2016 double European U15 Champion took just 21 minutes to reach 21 twice in a dominant performance ending 21-7, 21-8. 

- I was trying to not get worried about what he was going to do and focused on my game.

Kuuba equalises
Estonia, the big underdogs in the match, were able to hit straight back with Kristin Kuuba’s straight-game win over the young Grace King. Leading most of the way, King battled hard throughout. Kuuba explains how she was able to keep her cool. 

-I think I lost my focus in some areas of the match. Sometimes I was a little bit too passive and waiting too much but it's okay. 

Lane/ Vendy too good for Estonia
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy took to the court again and may have to play all three ties with a suspected injury to Chris Langridge. They once again embrace the flying the flag for England and won against Kristjan Kaljurand/ Raul Käsner with minimal trouble. 

However, once getting to game point in the first game, perhaps a lack of focus allowed Estonia an unnecessary run of points. 

-I probably put that down to a little bit of lost focus. We were trying not to lift too much because they are two quite big guys and they were hitting it quite hard, so they made it a little bit difficult for us to get over the line in the first. 

Smith/ Birch make an interesting point
Lauren Smith/ Chloe Birch after some even opening exchanges kickstarted their game at 15-15 in the first against Catlyn Kruus/ Helina Rüütel. They got the job done in the end, but Birch makes an interesting point around why perhaps they were slow to get going. 

-It is a little bit different this week because we are in the hall quite a lot of the day. Which is different to what we are used to at other tournaments where we just turn up to our match. So, I think I struggled with that a little bit today. 

European Champions have a go
It is not a bad position to be in where a team can swap the European Games mixed doubles champions in Ellis/ Smith, and slot in the reigning double European Champions to have a go. Chris and Gabrielle Adcock took to the court and always felt they had it in control against Raul Käsner/ Kristin Kuuba.

Following their straight game win, Gabrielle Adcock shared a glimpse into the Christmas they are very much looking forward to this year. 

- Lots of turkey, pigs in blankets! It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to be home for Christmas. The first time in maybe six years, so I think we are definitely going to enjoy being at home with our dog and have a relaxing one which will be quite nice for us. 

The final score was 4-1 to England, who will face Sweden tomorrow to confirm their spot in the European Mixed Team Championships finals in Finland. 

For livestreaming from all qualification groups, read: EMTCQ: How you can follow the action

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