Swiss singles end English dream
Date: 2/16/2012 1:10 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
It has taken two full days of play here at the European Men’s and Women’s team championships before the first big upset occurred. England, one of the traditional top teams in Europe, were knocked out at the group stage after suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Switzerland.

Everyone knew that England arrived at these Championships with literally a team of two halves. Excellence in abundance in doubles but certainly there for the taking in the three singles. Both Switzerland and England had beaten Scotland and Italy in the early rounds so the morning tie was a winner takes all battle. The Swiss knew that if they were to have any chance in the tie their single ladies needed to take all three points.

Jeanine Cicognini got the Swiss show on the road with a comfortable 2 game victory over Nicola Cerfontyne. Arguable the match of the tie came as Sabrina Jaquet came back from a set down to give the Swiss a two love lead. The experienced Swiss punching the air after the victory was evidence enough of the sheer relief felt not only by her but also her team. The most mature display came from the youngest member of the singles trio Nicole Schaller as the recently crowded Swiss National Senior Champion controlled her match against Kate Robertshaw to give the Swiss that all important 3 win to take top the group.

“This was really a tough match for me mentally as I was feeling the pressure after Jeanine and Sabina gave us the lead. Watching Sabina fight back for the team gave me even more motivation to go out and do my job and now I am just mentally relieved more than anything” said Schaller to Badminton Europe.

The English now go home and their vocally presence and togetherness as a team will be missed at these championships but it is the Swiss that go forward now to a meeting with Russia in the quarterfinals after the Russian comfortably topped group 3 with wins over Ireland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Tine Baun entered the competition today for Denmark but came unstuck against Spain’s Carolina Marin as the Danes got an early fright in the women’s event. Karina Jørgensen steadied the Danish ship and the top seeds advanced to the knock out stages of the tournament.

In what was a strange occurrence in the men’s team championship the Germans walked out on court with an automatic 2-0 lead before the tie even began after a mix up on the team entry sheet by the Irish. The Irish mistakenly put an ‘X’ the box beside the name of a player that is not even at the Championships thus handing an automatic walkover to the Germans for the matches involving the named player. In the end only Scott Evans and Sam Magee we eligible for the Irish in two singles and a doubles and the Germans as expected went on to take the match to advance to the knock out stages of the tournament.

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Article and photo by Mark Phelan
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