Oleksandr Chyrkov in action today in Rodez (photo credit: Mark Phelan / Badminton Europe)
Chyrkov on ‘Cruz’ control
Date: 11/1/2018 11:38 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Spain’s Simon Cruz was in two 3 game thrillers today in Rodez, in both singles and men’s doubles matches a line-call kept him from victory. The match that stood out was against the unseeded man featured above in the SL3 men’s singles.

Oleksandr Chyrkov is Ukrainian, ranked 54 in the world and has played just two International tournaments in the past 2 years, yet today he produced the performance of a lifetime against the Spanish 5/6 seed in group F of the SL3 men’s singles.

Cruz was under pressure from the start, the calm control of the Ukrainian seemed to rattle the Spaniard, who lost the opener 21-15.  His gritty determination and fiery spirit was enough to help him through the second game which had a nail biting finish from 19-19 and closing the game meant Cruz still had a hopes of winning the group.

Late on in the third game Cruz screamed with delight as a punch clear called the line judge into action, with the seeded man from Spain believing he had just earned himself the match. But the call was out and the match went onto setting 20-20. Finally the Ukrainian closed things out at 22-20 and topped the group which sends Cruz into to top half of the knock-out stages which features Daniel Bethell and Thomas Matthieu. On paper at least, that may destroy Spanish dreams of a medal.

Read : Stoeva Sisters win again 

Right down to the wire

Elsewhere Frenchman Stephen Durand put in a great performance against Russian Pavel Popov, which ended 21-19 in the third game, in the WH1 men’s singles. The win put the Frenchman through the group and into tomorrow’s quarter finals.

Megan Hollander (NED) came through a crucial 25-23 game against Denmark’s former World Champion Julie Thrane to guarantee her a medal spot this week. Thrane now faces number 2 seed Zehra Baglar in hopes of securing the other spot that escapes this ‘group of death’ in the SU5 women’s singles.

Meril Loquette (FRA) needed everything in his locker today in the SU5 men’s singles group C. He was up against Dutchman Mark Modderman to decide who will win the group, and who would go through in second place and face one of the top seeds in the quarters. Modderman took the first 22-20 but Loquette came back 21-14, 21-16 in games 2 and 3 to secure a better quarter final berth and potentially a medal hope.

For draws, matches and last year’s winners, see tournament software here with this link.

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