Valet & Ganci secured France a 5-0 win over Slovenia
Seeds shine on day 1 in Prague
Date: 11/22/2017 8:57 AM
Published by : Mark Phelan
The 2017 European U17 team competition kicked off today in Prague with all 36 teams from across Europe getting an opportunity to dust of some early competition cobwebs and ease themselves into the event. The top seeded nations were quick out of the starting blocks with Russia, France, Germany, Turkey and England all securing 5-0 whitewashes while Denmark dropped just one match on their way to a 4-1 win over Hungary. 

In the middle of three day 1 sessions England and France wasted little time in securing pole position in groups 2 and 3 respectively. England blitzed passed Portugal and the French were not far behind seeing off the stubborn challenge of Slovenia. French pair Charlotte Ganci and Favie Vallet were taken to three sets in the final match of five with the French girls coming through 21-15 in the decider against Pipan and Vracar. 

Denmark had to settle for a 4-1 win against Hungary as Vivien Sandorhazi beat Sophia Grundtvig in a match between individual competition medal hopefuls. Sandorhazi’s two set win is an indication of her tournament form and the Hungarian will be one to watch next week if the exposure of a high quantity of team event matches does not catch up with her. 

Though unseeded Ukraine put themselves forward as possible medal contenders as they beat Ireland 5-0. The Irish had some opportunities in the women’s singles where Valeriya Rudakova narrowly beat Rachael Woods 23-21 in the deciding set. 

“We came up against a very powerful Ukraine team today.” said Irish coach Aishling Ryan. “We are here with a very young team and nerves certainly played a part in the early part of some of the matches. “We will switch things up tomorrow for the match against Slovenia with a view to getting all our players court time and it will also be a chance for the rest of the team to go out and prove themselves.” 

Read: Warner - Our team has the ability to break their streak

Ioana Grecea of Romania contributed two vital points for her team today beating Greece 3-2

Minnows captivate crowd

While the big guns were casually easing past their first group opponents some of Europe’s smaller nations were involved in some of the closest ties of the day. 

Romania had to win both final tie matches to see off Greece 3-2 with Ioana Grecea pitching in with a victory in women’s singles and women’s doubles. 

Moldova emulated the Romanians with Vlada Gynga the hero of the tie winning her mixed and women’s doubles to give her team the 3-2 victory. Belgium overcame Norway albeit in an easier fashion. The Belgians raced into a 3-0 lead to secure the overall tie win but the Norwegians were not about to roll o send them into tomorrow’s match with Italy in confident mood. 

Elsewhere Czech Republic got their campaign off to the best possible start. The hosts beat Bulgaria 4-1 only losing the men’s singles and now look like favourites in group 7. 

To revisit all the action on demand from day 1 at #EU17C17 via our YouTube channel click HERE

To view a photo gallery from today’s play in Prague click HERE

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