Russians & Danes set up dream final
Date: 6/26/2015 3:54 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
On a day of upsets in Baku it was business as usual for the top two seeds in the men’s doubles as Boe & Mogensen, the world number 2 pair from Denmark, and the reigning Russian European champions Ivanov and Sozonov (pictured) cruised into the showcase final everyone wants to see.

The Russians famously beat the Danes in Kazan at the European Championship in 2014 en route to gold but since then it has been Boe & Mogensen that have dominated the exchanges between the pairs with 3 wins the most recent at the All England in March.

In today’s semi-finals the Danes were tested but always looked comfortable beating Beck & Heinz from Germany while the Russians barely needed second gear against the Irish surprise packet of the tournament Sam & Joshua Magee.

Running alongside the men’s doubles semi-finals in the evening session was the women’s doubles and top seeds and hot favourites to lift the title tomorrow, Stefani & Gabriela Stoeva blitzed Yigit & Bayrak from Turkey 21-14, 21-9.

The Bulgarians will now face second seeds Bolotova & Kosetskaya after the Russians were taken to three games by Helsbøl & Grebak of Denmark.

An emotional day for Navickas of Lithuania

Lithuanian number 1, Kestutis Navickas has been plagued by injury in recent years but today in Baku proved that guts, determination and sheer ‘bouncebackabilty’ will eventually reap its rewards as he cruised to a medal in the men’s singles.

Navickas was the underdog today against Yuhan Tan, but as a man for the big occasion, delivered a performance that will threaten the top step of the podium let alone the bronze medal. The Lithuanian played probably his best two games of big stage badminton this afternoon in Baku leaving Tan with no excuses as they both left the court after a 21-14, 21-6 win.

“This is a very emotional moment for me” said Navickas immediately after the win “This game was probably the best game of badminton I have played and it is days like this that make all the bad days in the past worth it”

Navickas will now play Pablo Abian in the semi-final after the Spanish number 1 ended the run of Zvonimir Durkinjak in two games. On the other side of the draw top seed Scott Evans fell to Emil Holst and the Dane will now play Germany’s Dieter Domke for a place in Sunday’s final.

Azurmendi shocks top seed Zetchiri

The biggest shock of the day came in the women’s singles quarter finals as Spanish youngster Clara Azurmendi ended the Baku dream of top seed Linda Zetchiri. The Bulgarian took the opening game and looked set to justify her seeding but Spanish women’s singles is a dominant force right now and Azurmendi displayed a maturity beyond her years to win in three games.

The Spaniard will now play Lianne Tan after the Belgian beat Delpine Lansac of France. Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva continued to roll back the years and where Zetchiri failed Nedelcheva prospered to claim a minimum of bronze for Bulgaria.

Nedelcheva’s semi-final opponent will be Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt and judging by the Danes performance this week in Baku she will go into the final two days of badminton competition as hot favourite for the title.

For all results from Baku go to the official website

For a full photo gallery from today’s play follow Badminton Europe on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Article and Images by Mark Phelan (Live in Baku).
© All rights reserved.

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