Marin on her way to round 1 victory in Kolding
Singles big guns come out to play
Date: 4/26/2017 10:40 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Day two of the European Championships saw the introduction of the singles big guns after all the seeded favourites benefitted from bye’s in yesterday’s opening rounds. There were a few scares along the way today while the big tournament favourites, Carolina Marin & Viktor Axelsen, eased into round two. 

Marin wasted little time seeing off the challenge of Welsh number 1 Jordan Hart in two games while Axelsen saw off the challenge of Lucas Corvee of France. Both are red hot to lift titles this week in Kolding and both were justifiably happy after their opening round victories in Kolding. 

 “Winning another European title is one of my big goals this years” said the Spanish Olympic champion in her post match interview. “Of course I am always the one to beat these days but this is something that I am very used to and comfortable with. 

Axelsen was equally as impressive in his opening win even though he was pushed very hard by Corvee. “This was certainly a better start that last year where I struggled bad in the opening round. Lucas is a dangerous player and he had an opportunity to take the opening set but I somehow manged to get through in two games. I can move on now after getting a good feeling for the hall.”

While there were no big upsets Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt (pictured above) and Spain’s Beatriz Corrales, both fancied podium contenders, were taken to the wire in their opening rounds. The Dane got herself into a real dog fight against old foe Neslihan Yigit only coming through 22-20 in the deciding game. In the very first match of the day Corrales found herself 16-10 behind in the deciding set against Mariya Mitsova of Bulgaria before getting out of jail with a 21-19 win. 

Germany’s Marc Zwiebler looked extra calm in his opening men’s singles match after announcing his pending retirement in the summer. The 2012 champion was an easy winner over England’s Toby Penty. 

“I come here with no expectations and really to enjoy this my last European championships. After the Olympics I thought long and hard about my next move and we have some really good young guys coming along in Germany so it is the right time for me to hang up my racket.”

Juhl & Pedersen smile their way to the second round

Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen (pictured below) made their grand entrance in this year’s championships and the hot favourites for the women’s doubles title looked extra relaxed as they smiled their way through their first match against O’Donnell & Macpherson of Scotland. Just two weeks ago Eleanor O’Donnell was picking up a silver medal at the European Juniors and today the up and coming Scot was learning with every rally against the Olympic silver medallists. 

Two quick games is all it took for the Danes but the young Scot’s certainly did not look out of place and will go away from their first European champions eager for more. 

It was the end of the line for Swedish hopefuls Emma Wengberg and Clara Nistad as they came unstuck in one of the games of the day against Seinen and Tabeling of the Netherlands. The Swedes had match point in the third but let it slip with the Dutch staying calm at the critical point to take the match 23-21. 

In the men’s doubles all the big hitters advanced without any troubles with the quartet of Danish pairs looking the likely pairs to fight it out for podium honours. Ander Skaarup Rasmussen & Kim Astrup entertained the crowd in their two game win over Eidestedt and Ruponen even with world and Olympic champion Carolina Marin playing on the adjoining court. The Danes are chasing a repeat of their final last year and got off to the perfect start today in Kolding. 

“We have good memories from last year in France and of course we are looking to repeat that and go even further this year” said Astrup after their win. 

“We certainly have a home court motivation to do well her this week in Kolding. The crowd were great as always and even though we struggled a bit to get the match over the line in the second game we have to be very happy with our performance.”

For all results from today’s play in Kolding click HERE

For a full photo gallery from today’s play at the European championships click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

© All rights reserved.

Related news
TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 Draw
The draw for the TOTAL BWF Tho...

A new tradition - Latvia vs Estonia
On 31 July, a new tradition wa...

Marcus Ellis: I do not feel my body slowing down
European Games gold medallist,...

Thom Gicquel: I dream of a medal in Paris
Five years is a long time and ...

Mia Audina: followed her heart and won ours
The player who recorded two Ol...

BWF cancels September tournaments
Further to our update of 23 Ju...

More news