Savin & Ginga celebrate their mixed success. Photo: Mark Phelan (LIVE)
Moldova one game from major upset
Date: 9/7/2018 9:44 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
The European U19 junior team event kicked off today in beautiful Tallinn and as well as being an historic day for Estonian badminton in hosting a major European championship it was also the first time ever a team from Moldova had entered BEC’s flagship junior event. 

Czech Republic was Team Moldova’s first match in group 6 and on paper and as the seeded nation the Czech team should have made in theory quick work of the match. Things do not always go according to seedings at junior events and this match proved to be an advocate for anything can and will happen in junior badminton.

What made the tie all the more interesting was the fact that Cristian Savin was now playing for Moldova with Petr Martinec in the coaches’ chair. Both born and raised in the Czech Republic and with something to prove now being involved with Moldova. 

SEE - Results from day 1 at #EJC18 team competition here

The tie was always going to hinge on the opening mixed doubles. If Moldova could win it they were I with a shout of causing a major upset. If the Czech Republic win it then it is virtually match over. 

Savin partnered Vlada Ginga for Moldova while Lucie Krpatova and Tomas Svejda took to the court for the Czech’s. After sharing the opening two sets this tie had cliff-hanger written all over it. The Czech pair held two match points at 20-18 but Savin and Ginga held firm and patient and levelled at 20-20.

With momentum on their side the Moldovan's went on to take the match 24-22 to heap severe pressure onto their opponents and leave the Czech team requiring 3 wins from the remaining 4 matches to get off to a winning start. 

- This was a very tense match. Everyone could feel the tension. It was difficult for me to play mixed as I am normally singles and women’s doubles so getting my racket off the floor was hard for me said Ginga. 

- We have only practiced once together so we are pleased with the win. For me it does not matter who is across the net I am just there to win for Moldova commented Savin. 

Moldova still held all the aces after both teams shared the two singles matches and when the women’s doubles went to a deciding set the match was simple. Moldova were within one game of causing a major upset. 

Tereza Svabikova (pictured above) had already won her women’s singles for the Czech Republic and she proved her worth once again when the going got tough to take the deciding set alongside Katerina Zuzakova to level the match score at 2-2. 

At that point the momentum completely shifted as Czech Republic were literally a shoe-in for the men’s doubles and Jan Janostik and Tomas Svejeda eased the Czech nerves winning the match and the tie easily in two games. 

Elsewhere the he big guns all eased through their opening matches with Denmark, France, England, Russia and Germany all comfortable 5-0 winners.

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