Seeds start to fall in Karlskrona
Date: 4/18/2012 5:27 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Day two at the European Championships in Karlskrona, Sweden and if yesterday failed to produce many upsets the underdogs certainly changed that statistic very early on this the second days full play.

In one of the very first matches on court this morning Karin Schnaase (pictured) took down the number 4 seed in the women’s singles, Pi Hongyan from France. Hongyan, who’s legs seem to have more bandages with each new tournament due to an array of injuries, was never really on the pace of the game but all credit must be given to the punchy German who has improved her own game over the past year and is now shaping up to be a threat to some of Europe’s top players.

Schnaase got off to a flying start taking the first game 21-9 and even then many expected the bronze medallist from Manchester to pick her game up and come back strong. Hongyan led 16-14 in the second but the German then went on a run of 5 unanswered points to set up match point which she took on her first time of asking.

“This was all a bit crazy really. I have not even got a clue who I play in the next round as I did not really expect to beat Hongyan, who has been one of our great players over the past 10 years. But now I am really in this tournament and will prepare well and with confidence for the next match” said Schnasse to Badminton Europe.

Following hot on the heels of Schnaase’s win was another German underdog this time in the shape of Dieter Domke. The tall German most likely ended any hopes now of third seed Hans Kristian Vittinghus making the Olympics after taken down the lacklustre Dane in the opening round.

Vittinghus looked very sluggish on court and Domke clearly benefited from an early round match as Vittinghus entered the tournament this morning after a bye due to his high seeding.

In a hectic mornings play Pablo Abian, the fifth seed in the men’s singles also failed to find the spark needed to see of the challenge of doubles specialist Ivan Sozonov. It was a good mornings work all round for tea Russia with both Prokopenko and Perminova advancing in the women’s singles and Malkov and Ivanov joining Sozonov in the next round.

Elizabeth Cann also continued the good form she showed in reaching the semi final at the Dutch International last week by beating Maja Tvrdy in two games. All of a sudden the GB race to London heats up again after Susan Egelstaff went out in the first round.

Rajiv Ouseph following Cann into the next round as he attempts to win back to back European medals but Carl Baxter missed out in a close three set match with Atrashenchov of the Ukraine in what is reportedly his last major tournament for England.

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Article and image by Mark Phelan (Live in Karlskrona)

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