Relief for Popov in Tallinn Photo: Ben Phelan (LIVE)
Merkle & Popov set up all French final
Date: 9/15/2018 6:09 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Ahead of these championships both Arnuad Merkle and Christo Popov were touted as possible winners of the men’s singles title. A possible all French final was also on the cards given their separation in the draw. In today’s semi final both came through to make the final with Merkle looking to turn his silver from Mulhouse in 2018 into gold.

Merkle was first on court and both he and opponent Lukas Resch looked nervous in the opening game.

- I was stressed a lot at the start but I stayed calm like I do in senior tournaments and it was a comfortable win in the end. It was not the best match but I did not need to do the game of my life to win today said Merkle

While Merkle was having it easy Christo Popov was engaged in a fierce battle with top seed Nhat Nguyen. Nguyen look lost in the opening set which the French man won 21-7. Nguyen did what everyone expected him to do in the second set and fight right back to level the match.

In the deciding set Popov got his nose in front early and the Irishman never managed to get in from and Popov fell to his knees to celebrate his 21-18 win in the deciding set.

All the pressure was on him as he was the favourite said Popov. I had nothing to loose and just played my game. Tomorrow is a new day and I will give my very best I the final.

It proved a great day for team France winning four from five semi finals with success in the mixed doubles and men’s doubles to complement the performance from Merkle and Popov

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