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.
With Denmark and Poland enjoying byes to the semi-finals, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands fought to become their opponents.
In the team tie between Germany and Russia the Germans drew first blood, and appeared to be positioned to run away with the tie, but things would not be that easy. Denmark Super Series finalist Marc Zwiebler quickly disposed of his opponent Vladimir Malkov 21-9, 21-9, which was then followed by Marcel Reuter winning a squeaker over Vladimir Ivanov 22-20, 25-23. Fabian Hammes was however unable to close out the tie losing badly to Stanislav Pukhov 21-14, 21-7. The Russian’s first men’s doubles Durkin and Nikolaenko also did their jobs defeating Fuchs and Kindervarter 21-17, 21-15 to set up a fifth and final match. Unfortunately for the Russians their comeback was for nothing as the German pair of Hopp and Schoettler pulled off the win over Dremin and Pukhov in three close games 16-21, 21-19, 21-15. Germany will now face Denmark in the semi-finals.
The other quarter-final tie was not nearly as close however, with Ukraine defeating their Dutch opponents with relative comfort. Dmytro Zavadsky defeated Rune Massing 21-12, 21-13, Valeriy Atrashchenkov defeated Lester Oey 21-12, 21-12, and the only close match was between Vladislav Druzchenko and Saber Afif with Druzchenko winning in three games 21-13, 19-21, 21-13 to seal the win 3-0. Ukraine will now face Poland in their semi-finals.
Once again the Danish team had an opportunity for rest as the were through with a bye to the semis alongside the Netherlands. The Danes would face the winners of Germany and Bulgaria. The Germans proved too strong for the Bulgarians winning in three straight matches. Juliane Schenk led the way with her win over Petya Nedelcheva, followed by Karin Schnasse beating Linda Zetchiri, and finally Fabienne Deprez defeating Dimitria Popstoykova. The Germans will now face Denmark.
The next tie was between Russia and Scotland. The first women’s singles was between Ella Diehl and Susan Egelstaff who faced off against each other in the Scottish International in late 2009. In that meeting Egelstaff was the victor, but Diehl had her revenge winning easily 21-12, 21-12. Tatjana Bibik took the next point for Russia beating Linda Sloan 21-14, 21-9. Finally it was the Russian pairing of Vislova and Sorokina who would seal their team’s place in the semi-finals with a win over Bankier and Mason 21-11, 21-15. The Russians will now play the Netherlands.
Click here for full results from the European Team Championships 2010