Stoeva’s in cruise control in group A
Date: 6/23/2015 8:05 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Stoeva Siblings, Gabriela & Stefani (pictured), took firm control of group A of the women’s doubles event in Baku forcing the best of the rest to battle it out for second place event with one group match remaining.

In their opening two matches of the group the world number 14 pair easily saw off the challenge of the pairs that would have been most likely to challenge them for group honours. Voytsekh & Zharka were first to fall at the Stoeva sword yesterday before Belgian duo, Steffi Annys and Flore Vandenhoucke had no real answers to the relentless Bulgarian power going down 21-7, 21-11 on the TV court.

With one group match to go the Stoeva’s are in the enviable position of having to play group outsiders Pope & Sefere of Lativa and can afford to take the foot of the gas and still comfortably sail through to the open draw quarter finals.

The real fireworks in Group A will come in tomorrow’s battle between the Belgian’s and the Ukrainian outfit to see who will follow the top seeds into the quarter final.

The main challenge to the Bulgarians appears to be coming from Denmark and Russia as Helsbøl & Grebak have been effortless in group D while Bolotova and Koesetskaya today took control of group B.

Tan heaps pressure on Magee in Group F women’s singles

Group F in the women’s singles continues to provide most of the drama as Lianne Tan took pole position after her victory over Kati Tolmoff this afternoon in Baku. Tolmoff had yesterday beaten number 5 seed Chloe Magee and Tan’s wins today means that the Irish number one must beat the Belgian tomorrow to have a chance of making the quarter final.

Tan will feel no pressure as with two wins it is likely she will make the quarter finals as it stands while Tolmoff will feel she has everything to gain with a final remaining group match against Kristine Sefere of Latvia.

There is a distinct possibility that all top three women could end up with two wins each which means at that point the calculators come out and every point won in every match over the three group’s days becomes critical.

“I have been playing this week without pressure or expectations” said Tan after her win over Tolmoff “Since I stopped playing professional and mix my studies with my badminton I have really started to enjoy the game a lot more. Tomorrow will be the same. I will enjoy the match against Chloe and we will see what happens”

In the women’s singles match of the day Delphine Lansac came back from a set down to beat Germany’s Fabienne Deprez leaving Deprez needing to beat group favourite Petya Nedelcheva tomorrow to advance.

A little piece of history on home soil

The staging of this year’s inaugural European Games has been nothing short of spectacular and it was only fitting that the fledgling badminton nation that is Azerbaijan got its first ever major badminton win on home soil this afternoon.

Kanan Rzayev will go down in Azerbaijan badminton history as the athlete that delivered that win and he lifted the roof by beating Samuel Cali of Malta in two games, a fitting tribute to the remarkable staging of this great event in Baku.

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Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Baku).
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