(Photo: Alan Spink)
England get the job done against Hungary
Date: 12/10/2020 8:15 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
In the second match of the opening day for Group 1, hosts England took on Hungary to get their qualification campaign underway. 
Players arriving in England two days before the start were subjected to the increasingly familiar COVID-19 restrictions necessary in competitive sport. England had a brief scare when a squad member received a positive test on-site. Subsequently, three players had to pull out from the squad. 

England has a lot of strength in depth, which was on display today against a determined Hungarian team. 

The singles categories were up first with Toby Penty facing Gergely Krausz. Three years previously, it was a smooth victory for the English left-hander. Today, by his own admission, it was not his best game. 

-It was probably not my best performance. I made a lot of errors. The shuttle was very, very fast today. He played with good speed at times and when I lost my focus in the second he capitalised on it. 

-But I am happy with my response in the third game because that is something I am trying to work on, Penty added. 

In the second game, Krausz showed a nice demonstration of sportsmanship when admitting to a double-hit, something that was not spotted by the umpire. The act was applauded by the onlooking English team. 

-Fair play to him. It was good sportsmanship and a nice gesture. I appreciate that. 

Penty was able to kick away in the decider and give England a 1-0 lead.

Sarosi happy to return after getting COVID-19
Olympian Laura Sarosi was able to level the score against a young English talent in Freya Redfearn. Sarosi had to dig deep to get over the line but is delighted to be back on court. 

 -I am really happy I can play because three months ago I got the coronavirus. I could not practice for eight weeks. Getting it hit me quite hard, I am recovering from the impact, but I am happy my level is coming back!

England bounce back in the men’s doubles
Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy are in top form after a semifinal result at the Denmark Open. They admitted frustration that they cannot build on this further and are eagerly awaiting the tournaments in Thailand next year. Today they showed their power and won decisively over Gergo Pytel/ Gergely Szita. 

The doubles keep coming
Following up in a similar fashion, Jenny Moore/ Chloe Birch secured the win by extending the lead to 3-1 against Vivien Sandorhazi/ Laura Sarosi in a straight-game victory. This English pair combination was not expected to feature in these matches. However, with Victoria Williams unable to take part, England relied on their strength in depth. 

-It’s never nice to not have a teammate here, as we all support each other and play to represent our country. We are really lucky we have a big team and if one player is unable to play, then another can step in. 

That one point
In the final match of the day, world number nine pair Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith put on a show for everyone in the venue with a clinical 21-1, 21-11 win over Gergely Szita/ Daniella Gonda. Talking about being 13-0 up in the first game, Ellis explains. 

-I don’t think it is something we particularly think about. I think it is important to show maximum respect to the people we are playing. I hope they appreciated that we played our best just to show some respect for them. 

This gets England off the mark with now the prospect of facing Estonia tomorrow, who defeated Sweden 3-2 earlier on today. 

For livestreaming from all qualification groups, read: EMTCQ: How you can follow the action

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