Coming into the match, Denmark had dropped just one match of the 19 matches that they had played. They were the clear favourites against Russia, but knew this would be their hardest match of the competition. Tine Rasmussen was expected to defeat Ella Diehl to take the lead in the match, and delivered in stunning fashion with a 21-8, 21-14 victory to give Denmark a 1-0 lead.
If Rasmussen’s win was expected, then Tatjana Bibik’s win was just as unexpected. A stunning 21-12, 21-11 upset over Camilla Sorensen levelled the match at 1-1. Denmark were to be shocked further, with Anastasia Prokopenko’s 3-game victory over Karina Jorgensen 19-21, 21-16, 21-16 putting Russia on the brink of a stunning upset and the title of European Champions.
The Danish doubles had to save the match, with Lena Frier Kristiansen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl taking on Tatjana Bibik and Olga Golovanova. 25 minutes later, the match was poised for a one-match play-off for the European title. With a 21-14, 21-14 win for the Danes. Helle Neilsen and Marie Ropke were given the opportunity to win the final rubber for Denmark. Prokopenko and Sorokina stood in the their way, after a tight 21-17 victory for the Danish. Russia then had a chance to win the second game, at 17-20. The Danes played five sensational points to take the game 22-20 and win the European title for Denmark, by 3 matches to 2.
In the 3rd/4th playoff, Germany easily defeated the Netherlands 3-0. Wins for Schenk over Stolzenbach, for Overzier and Marinello and for Karin Schnaase allowed Germany to qualify for the Uber Cup as the 3rd placed European side.
Peter Gade made his second appearance in the competition, after not being needed until the semi final stage. Europe’s #1 would play Przemyslaw Wacha in the opening match of the men’s final against Poland. Gade edged a tight opening game 21-16, the second game was another tight affair but Gade went from trailing 9-7 to lead 13-9 with a six point run and never looked back, taking the second game 21-17 and put Denmark 1-0 in the match.
Boe and Mogensen would play the Polish heroes of the semi final, Cwalina and Logosz. The Poles took a 15-12 lead in the opening game, before capitulating and conceding 9 straight points to gift the game to Boe and Mogensen. The second game was a similar story, Boe and Mogensen led 10-8 before the Poles allowed another 9 point run and gifted the second game and Denmark a 2-0 lead in the match.
Jan O Jorgensen had the opportunity to clinch the European title, with a win over Hubert Pazcek. Jorgensen took the opening game after some scoring consecutive points on a number of occasions to stretch out a lead before winning the opening game, 21-14. The second game started a lot tighter, with Pazcek leading 11-10 at the interval. Jorgensen responded with a 7-point run to take a 17-11 lead, it was a lead he was never going to give up and clinched the match and Denmark’s all important third match, 21-14, 21-13.
In the 3rd/4th playoff for a place in the Thomas Cup, Germany won 3-1 over Ukraine. Zweibler opened the match with a win over Zavadsky 21-16, 27-25. Dieter Domke suffered a three-game defeat over Atrashchenkov to level the match up, before Marcel Reuter regained Germany’s advantage with a straightforward win over Konov. Hopp and Scholetter completed the victory with a come from behind victory over Druzchenko and Atrashchenkov.
The Denmark – Germany was a rematch of the 2008 semi final, with the 3-1 scoreline being repeated in the 2010 event. Tine Rasmussen started the match with a win over Juliane Schenk in the opening singles, 21-16, 21-13. The first doubles was expected to be another Danish win, but the pairing of Overzier and Marinello pulled out a 21-17, 24-22. Camila Sorensen put the Danish back in front with a win over Karin Schnaase in two games, meaning a win for the Neilsen and Ropke would win the match for Denmark.
Goleszewki and Schenk took a opening game lead, taking the first 21-18. The Danish responded by winning the second game 21-15 to take it into a final game. The Danes finished the job with a 21-13 final game victory to send them through to tomorrow’s final.
In the final also, are the Russians after a 3-0 win over the Netherlands. The Diehl/Bibik/Vislova/Sorokina coming good for the second day running with three wins in quick succession to clinch their place in the final. Diehl’s impressive 21-17, 21-7 victory started the rout, followed by Bibik’s 21-13, 21-6 win putting them on the brink of the final and then the Sorokina/Vislova partnership ending the match with a 21-12, 21-18 win to book Russia’s place in tomorrow’s final
As if Denmark couldn’t get any better, they unleashed Peter Gade for the first time in the semi final. His 21-6, 21-13 win over Marc Zweibler was a frightening warning that Denmark weren’t at full strength until now. Mogensen and Boe’s 21-17, 21-18 win had Denmark of the brink of the final having played just over an hour in the last 2 days. Jan O Jorgensen completed their stunning victory gainst Marcel Reuter 24-22, 21-17 to clinch a place in the final.
What the second semi final had was everything the first didn’t, four matches split in a 3 and a half hour clash that came down to a final rubber. Wacha gave Poland an early lead with a 3 game victory, only for the Ukrainians to take the next two singles matches and one step away from the final. Mateusiak and Wacha fought back from a game down in the first doubles to secure Poland’s second win and a final rubber, winner take all match to face Denmark in the final.
Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz’s 19-minute demolition clinched Poland’s spot in tomorrow’s final, winning 21-6, 21-12.
Group A – Winners: Denmark
Their record to date stands immaculate, four 5-0 victories to the loss of just one game. All without even fielding Peter Gade. They are the nation to beat in this competition without a doubt and haven’t even been tested en route to the semi final after a rest day on Thursday.
Group B – Winners: Poland
Thursday night seen the winner-take-all match between Poland and England for a place in the knockout stages, after two tight three game encounters left Poland 2-0 up, Hubert Paczek completed the job in a two game victory over Carl Baxter. Poland next two games were marred by retirements in both games, with the last rubber match with Rafal Hawel leading after winning the first game.
Group C – Winners: Netherlands
The Dutch progression to the knockout rounds never looked in jeopardy, but their only two losses have both came from their #1 singles player, Rune Massing. Who will need to improve in order to defeat the Group F winners.
Group D – Winners: Germany
Germany’s progression was sealed in impressive fashion, with three 5-0 victories to the loss of just 2 games. With the singles players in excellent form ahead of their quarterfinal clash with Russia.
Group E – Winners: Russia
The Russian doubles have been unbeatable in group stage action, and their only defeats have come in the singles, Ivan Sozonov has not returned to action since his opening day retirement against Italy.
Group F: Winners – Ukraine
The Ukraine’s closest match came on the opening day in a 3-2 win over Wales, after trailing 2-1. Two 4-1 victories secured Ukraines place in the knockout round against the Netherlands.
Group A – Winners: Denmark
Played 3, Won 3. Played 15 Games, Won 15. The Danish women are putting down a real marker that they are here to retain their title from 2008. They will have a rest day tomorrow before taking on the winner of Germany and Bulgaria.
Group B – Winners: Netherlands
For 20 minutes, Belgium was level with Netherlands 1-1 in their final group match and the Dutch qualification was under threat. They rallied back to win the next three and win the match 4-1 to ensure their place in the knockout round.
Group C – Winners: Russia
A rare outing for Nina Vislova in singles ensured Russia’s 4-1 victory over England to progress into the knockout stage, with their second doubles pairing loss in the final match being their only defeat in the group stage.
Group D – Winners: Germany
Only Karin Schnasse’s loss to Carolina Marin stops Germany going into the knockout stage with a perfect record. Juliane Schenk has been in fine form in the three singles matches to date.
Group E – Winners: Scotland
Scotland are the only nation in the knockout stage to have lost a match but still progressed. Susan Egelstaff posted her first victory of the event today against Anna Narel whilst Mason and Bankier have gone unbeaten in all three matches.
Group F – Winners: Bulgaria
Three 5-0 victories will ensure that the Bulgarians are not taken lightly in the knockout stage, as Germany will find out tomorrow. Bulgaria in 30 games of action have allowed just 297 points, under 10 points a game.
Men’s Quarter Final
Germany vs. Russia
Zweibler vs. Malkov
Domke vs. Ivanov
Reuter vs. Pukhov
Schoettler/Hopp vs. Durkin/Nicolaenko
Kasbauer/Hoth vs. Dremin/Pukhov
Russia’s key to success if that they have to take one of the singles and go into the doubles, Zweibler and Malkov met in the 2009 Scottish Open where Zweibler won comfortably. The longer the match goes on, the better the chances are that the Russian’s will win as Durkin/Nicolaenko are one of the top partnerships in Europe at the moment.
Netherlands vs. Ukraine
Massing vs. Zavadsky
Oey vs. Atrashchenkov
Afif vs. Druzchenko
Ridder/Oey vs. Konov/Zavadsky
Arands/Khodabux vs. Atrashchenkov/Druzcenko
Ukraine need to take advantage of Massing’s form in the group stages, this is a match that Ukraine need to win early as most of their players are playing two matches and fatigue could be a defining factor.
Germany vs. Bulgaria
Schenk vs. Nedelcheva
Schnasse vs. Zechiri
Deprez vs. Popstoykova
Overzier/Marinello vs. Nedelcheva/Popstoykova
Neite/Goliszewki vs. Dimova/Zechiri
This could be the closest match tomorrow, with the potential of this going down to the final rubber as real possibility. It could come down to who wins 2 of the 3 singles matches.
Scotland vs. Russia
Egelstaff vs. Diehl
Sloan vs. Bibik
Gilmour vs. Prokopenko
Mason/Bankier vs. Vislova/Sorokina
Cooper/Sloan vs. Pollikarpova/Prokopenko
Scotland will need another inspired performance from Susan Egelstaff to defeat Ella Diehl like in the 2009 Scottish Open, Emma Mason lost out to Sorokina and Vislova in the women’s double final in the Scottish Open last year. The match could be in the hands of 16-year old Kirsty Gilmour as Russia haven’t settled on their #3 singles player. Scotland need at least two singles victory to stand a chance.
Denmark was expected to have little problems on the opening day, but few could have expected the one-sided nature of the 2 ties.
Men’s Team Event
Groups A – C
Denmark were expecting little resistance from Iceland, the favourites delivered with an excellent 5-0 win over the Icelanders. Peter Gade did not play in the match, but with Denmark having two matches on Thursday they will need as many fresh players after a hectic two days previously. Croatia lead Group A after playing two matches today and winning both against Iceland (3-2) and Hungary (5-0). Finland also defeated Hungary 5-0, with the Thursday night match with Denmark potentially determining the Group A winner.
England and Austria both managed 5-0 wins in Group B, Poland also won their match, but only 4-1 against Spain with Wacha being defeated by Pablo Abian. Austria then lost 3-2 to Spain, meaning every team but Lithuania have managed a win in Group B, a group that England tops with their 5-0 win. The Netherlands sit at the top of Group C with a 5-0 win over Greece, failing to drop a game in their victory. Ireland narrowly edged out Estonia 3-2, taking the final doubles match to ensure a win on the opening day.
Groups D – F
Germany started their campaign with a 5-0 win over Bulgaria, with only the second doubles pairing giving up a game to the Bulgarians. Czech Republic defeated Scotland 4-1, with Briggs and Bowman defeating the Kopriva brothers in the final rubber to avoid a 5-0 scoreline.
Sweden and Russia begin Group E with victories; Sweden defeated Slovakia 5-0 to top the group, with Russia winning only 4-1 with Ivan Sozonov retiring in the second game of his match to forfeit his match. France top Group F with a 5-0 win over Portugal, with Ukraine defeating Wales 3-2 after winning the final rubber of their match.
Women’s Team Event
Groups A – C
Denmark destroyed Greece 5-0, conceding just 66 points in 10 games. Tine Rasmussen giving the most points away out of the five rubbers, winning 21-10, 21-8 that was the smallest margin of victory. Czech Republic defeated Estonia 4-1 to take 2nd place in the group, with the top 2 to play tomorrow.
The Netherlands, without Jie Yao still managed a 5-0 victory over Latvia, then the Latvians then lost to Finland 4-1 later in the day. Belgium secured a 3-2 victory over Belarus, with their #1 and #3 singles players teaming up to win the final rubber in the doubles. Belarus bounced back to win their second match of the day, defeating Finland 3-2.
Russia and England both secured 5-0 wins in Group C, but Russia tops the group as they won all 5 matches in two games, whilst England’s final rubber match went to 3 games. The top two play tomorrow evening to settle top spot.
Group D – F
Germany defeated Iceland 5-0, without dropping a game in the process much like the Danish ladies. Sweden bounced back from losing the opening 2 rubbers to win the match 3-2 in a stunning turnaround and will play Germany tomorrow morning to determine who goes top of Group D.
France defeated Poland 4-1 to top Group E after the 4th placed Scotland from 2008 suffered a 3-2 to Ukraine, with the Ukrainians coming back from 2-1 down to win the match. Ukraine play France tomorrow. Bulgaria defeated Hungary 5-0 in an all Eastern European affair, with Wales defeating Slovakia 4-1 to take 2nd place in group F.
The top male and female players in Europe will represent their nations in the European Team Championships this week in Warsaw, Poland. Denmark are looking to defend both the Men and Women’s titles this week, but will face stern opposition from the likes of Germany, England and Netherlands.
Men’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
The winners from two years ago are again the favourites for the title in 2010, with the likes of Jan O Jorgensen, Joachim Persson and Peter Gade for the singles and in doubles, the 4th ranked partnership in the world, Mogensen and Boe. In their group awaits Iceland, Finland, Hungary and Croatia. With the group winner receiving a bye in the Quarter Final.
2008 Result – 3rd
Germany want to go one better than their 3-1 defeat in the semi final against Denmark in the 2008 Event. Marc Zweibler and Dieter Domke will have to live up to and play above their rankings of 16 and 73 for Germany to repeat their 2006 appearance in the final. A potential rematch against Denmark could await in the semi final this year.
2008 Result – 4th
Poland has been on the rise for the last few years, with recent Super Series success in the mixed doubles. Wacha (#31 Rank) and Logosz and Mateusiak (#35 Rank) will need to perform at their best after being paired in a group with 2008 runners-up England. Thursday at 6pm will ultimately determine the winners of Group B.
2008 Result – 2nd
Denmark’s biggest challenge will come from England, with Andrew Smith, Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter being the strongest line-up for England’s singles could potentially shock the Danish. Experienced heads like Robert Blair, Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson will be invaluable with a new young squad of players like Adcock, Wright and Middleton. Their big test in the group will undoubtedly be Poland on Thursday.
Women’s Team Championships
2008 Result – Winners
Tine Rasmussen will be one of the stars on show in the Women’s Championship, the 10th ranked player in the world will led off Denmark in the singles. Europe’s top ranked women’s double pairing, Kristiansen and Rytter Juhl will be the partnership to beat in the championships also. Like the men, they also a potential bye to the semi final if they win Group A, with Greece, Estonia and Czech Republic.
2008 Result – 2nd
With Yao Jie and Judith Meulendijks out of the Championships, the Dutch are very much understrength in the singles. Patty Stolzenbach will need to regain the form that seen her reach the semi final of the Norwegian Open late last year for the Netherlands to have any chance to progress.
2008 Result – 3rd
Juliane Schenk will lead the German team in Group D in the singles, with Marinello and Overzier being the top ranked all-German couple, however Nicole Grether is seeded higher in the world but with a Canadian partner, so Germany’s 2nd doubles partnership could be just as strong as their first.
2008 Result – 4th
A surprise 4th placed finish it might have been, but a full-fit Scottish squad will arrive in Warsaw. Emma Mason is back after an 18-month lay off, as well as Imogen Bankier returning to competitive competition after a knee injury. Susan Egelstaff is in the form of her life after winning the 2009 Scottish Open. However they are placed in a tough group with France, Poland and Ukraine.
The competition begins on Tuesday, February 16.