Kral - One of 3 Czech's in singles Q/F
Big guns flex their muscles in Mulhouse
Date: 4/13/2017 9:36 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
It was moving day at the European Junior Championships in Mulhouse where the genuine medal contenders got the opportunity to flex their muscles as the podium matches loom. With two rounds of singles played it was the end of the road for many of Europe’s hopefuls as all the big contenders came through to the business end of the individual tournament. 

Team France advanced their four big singles medals hopefuls into the next round with Toma Junior Popov, Yaelle Hoyaux & Leo Rossi making it in two games. Local man Arnaud Merkle was forced to dig deep in his fourth round match against Johnnie Torgussen of England eventually making it through in three games to the delight of the packed house. 

England did taste some success and created one of the biggest upsets of the day if seedings are to be taken into account. David Jones took down third seed Miha Ivanic and will go into his quarter final as favourite against Ondrej Kral of Czech Republic. It was a good day for the Czechs as Jan Louda also advanced unchallenged and will now play Joran Kweekel for a medal tomorrow. 

The easiest winner of the day was Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen. The European U17 champion barely broke a sweat in his fourth round men’s singles match against Nikita Lemeshko and now looks a real medal threat that’s if he can somehow get by Toma Junior Popov tomorrow. 

In the women’s singles Denmark are looking the strongest with both Julie Dawall Jakobsen and Irina Andersen hunting medals. Both are seasoned senior circuit players and looked just that in both their rounds today. 

Clara Azurmendi another seasoned senior looks to be the biggest threat to the Danes and will play Andersen for a medal tomorrow. Joining the big guns in the quarter final are Maryna Ilyinskaya of Ukraine and the European U15 silver medallist from two years ago Vivien Sandorhazi of Hungary. Both with real potential and both now capable of the next big step forward. 

Czechs down French medal hopefuls

Coming into this European Junior Championships the French pair Leo Rossi and Thomas Baures were hotly tipped for a medal. The French had impressed on the senior circuit this season and found themselves in the easier half of the draw. That was until today when the fell at the sword of Czech duo Hubacek & Somerlik (pictured above). Try though they may the French had no real answers and it’s the Czech pair who now go forward as likely medal contenders. 

As the Czech’s were causing an upset against the French so to were German pair Graalmann and Volker. The Germans took little time in ending the tournament of the fancied Russians Alimov and Kotsarenko who just two short days ago were collecting silver in the team event for Russia. 

In the women’s doubles Boje & Jakobsen (pictured above) came through the battle of the big guns. The Danes beat Dutch pair Van Der Aar and Jille in a match that would have graced the final let alone round two. 

Another round of doubles is needed tomorrow to sort out the potentially medallists as the singles players get an opportunity to rest in the morning after two hard rounds today. 

For all results from day 3 of the individual event in Mulhouse click HERE

For a photo gallery from today’s play click HERE

To revisit the action from all courts via our YouTube channel click HERE

Article by Mark Phelan. Images Mark & Ben Phelan (live in Mulhouse)

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