AIX avenge league final defeat
Date: 6/13/2015 3:01 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
AIX Universite CB (FRA) will play top seeds Primorye Vladivostok (RUS) in tomorrow’s European Club final after coming through an exhilarating semi-final match against French rivals Chambly this evening in Tours, France.

AIX came into this evening’s semi-final match with one goal and that was to avenge not only their semi-final defeat to Chambly at the European Club Championships last year but also their French league final against the same opposition just a few shorts weeks ago.

It was Chambly who got off to the better start winning the opening mixed doubles thanks to Robert Mateusiak and Imogen Banker. Ronan Labar and Petya Nedelcheva were on the receiving end of a two game loss in that opening match and the French champions looked to be on course to reach their second successive European Club final.

“The mixed was a must win for us if we were to have any chance in Beating AIX today” said Bankier.

That mixed doubles win proved to be as good as it got for Chambly as AIX unleased their potent singles combination Indra Bagus Ade Chandra and Lianne Tan. Bagus took care of Thomas Rouxel in two games before Tan followed up with a speedy two game win over Atu Rosalina, with the pace of Tan’s game just too hot for the veteran Chambly player.

“I have had a good year with a few wins plus I have been training more this past year so my game and shape is much better” said Tan. “We knew the singles was crucial for us and both Indra and I knew we had a job to do and we delivered”

Even trailing 2-1 Chambly still felt they would take the match to the deciding women’s doubles with Robert Mateusiak back on court alongside rising French star Bastian Kersaudy. Opposing them for AIX were long-time friends and AIX clubmen through and through Ronan Labar and Sylvain Grosjean.

The Chambly pair took the opening game and everything looked on track for the French champions but AIX bounced back to rock Mateusiak and Kersaudy winning the second game 21-17. After Chambly took the early initiative AIX found an overdrive gear and went on to dominate the set to win 21-14 and send the AIX team through to the grand finale.

“This is what club play is all about. Sylvain and I know each other for more than 10 years and we know each other’s moves instinctively” said a delight Ronan Labar “For our club to be in the final is a huge honour after previous disappointments and we hope to bring a good fight to the Russian favourites tomorrow”.

Primorye Vladivostok eased past rank outsiders BC Milano in the earlier semi-final winning 3-0 in what was a historic day for Italian badminton as Milano pick up the first ever medal for an Italian club team in a European event.

“After the bad semi-final yesterday against the Dutch our team management let us know that this could not happen again” said Primorye’s Ivan Sozonov. “We were lucky yesterday and today we made sure we made no mistakes”

The final will take place at 1.30pm (CET) and will be streamed and can be watched live on Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel.

To revisit all the action from the semi-finals of the European Club Championships subscribe to Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel HERE.

Article by Mark Phelan, Photo by Ben Phelan (Live in Tours).
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