Ivanov/Sozonov during their MD victory over English
Ivanov inspires Russia to semi success over England
Date: 2/19/2017 12:57 AM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Team Russia caused a mini upset today in the semi-finals of the European Mixed Team Championships beating team England thanks to an inspired performance from Vladimir Ivanov. 

Ivanov led from the front in the mixed doubles partnering Ekaterina Bolotova to an unexpected win over Chris and Gabby Adcock. The Russians saved two opening game points and 20-19 and 21-20 before taking the opener 23-21. 

In the second game the Russian built up a huge lead leading 16-8 before the never say die qualities of England’s top pair reduced the deficit to level the game at 18-18 and even took a two-point lead at 20-18 and looked to have saved the match from the jaws of defeat. 

It was at this point that the calm demeanour of Ivanov and Bolotova came to the fore as the Russians saved three consecutive game points to eventually take the match with a second 23-21 win to give Team Russia the dream start in their semi-final. 

The men’s singles was the next match on court and Toby Penty displayed his battling qualities to overcome the stubborn resistance of Anatoliy Yartzev. Penty had endured a torturous tournament to date but got team England the point the needed to keep the tie alive winning in two 21-16 21-16.

“That was a much needed win for both me and the team” said the Englishman after his win “I have not played particularly well this week but I knew I needed to contribute something to them team and I am just happy I could do it today”

In the women’s singles Team England introduced Chloe Birch for her first outing of the week and the English woman put up a real fight against Evgeniya Kosetskaya. The Russian took her second win of the week in three games to put the Russians within one win of the final. 

In the match everyone wanted to see Vladimir Ivanov and partner Ivan Sozonov, the All England Champions, faced off against Olympic bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis in a match that would decide the ultimate outcome of the tie. 

The English took the opening game as Sozonov stuttered around the court. The Russians came back in the second to win 21-17 as Sozonov started to warm to the occasion. In the deciding set Sozonov upped his game yet again and controlled the net exchanges with Ivanov controlling the rear court. 

The match reached the interval with just a point between the pairs but immediately after the Russians went on a run of 6 points without reply which broke the resolve of the English with the Russians eventually winning 21-18 to get the all important third point and send them into the final.

Denmark through but only after a men’s singles scare

Team Denmark’s semi-final against Germany had a 3-0 score line written all over it from the outset. Fischer and Pedersen were hot favourites in the opening mixed doubles and they delivered the first point against Herttrich and Lamsfuss. 

Another guaranteed point for Viktor Axelsen was the pre-match talk with the non-participation of Marc Zwiebler in the quarter final. However best laid plans sometimes fall to the wayside and on this occasions Fabian Roth won the biggest match of his career beating Axelsen in three games to level the tie at 1-1. 

“This is for sure the biggest win of my career. The important thing for me was to go out and enjoy the game and that is what I did. I think Viktor was not at his best today but that all being said I am so happy with this win for me and the team” 

That was to be as good as it got for the Germans. Even with Fabienne Deprez winning the first game against Line Kjaersfeldt the expectation was that the Dane would come back and win in three. Kjaersfeldt duly delivered. 

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (pictured above) rounded off the win with an easy victory in the men’s doubles as Lamsfuss and Zurwonne tried but put up little resistance to the world class Danish pair. 

A 3-1 win for Denmark and it’s the Danes who now play Russia for the title in a match where team Denmark will be overwhelming favourites. 

For all results from today’s semi-final action in Lubin click HERE

For a full facebook photo gallery from both today’s semi-finals sessions click HERE

Article by Mark Phelan. Images by Ben Phelan for Badminton Europe

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