(Photo: BWF / Badmintonphoto)
France win face-off for the third spot
Date: 5/17/2023 2:54 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
France and England played for the third spot in Group D. The European Mixed Team Championships runner-ups have won the encounter against the English team.

We’re getting closer to the key stages of the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023. The group stage started last Sunday and will be finishing tomorrow, and teams are fighting for the last points to seal their spots in their groups.

While France and England were already out, with Japan and Korea taking the two top spots in Group D, the two European teams competed for the third spot.

There was a strong start with the mixed doubles as both squads fielded some of their strongest players on court. Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue were down 0-4 in their head-to-head against Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith and despite it being a close match, the French duo finally got to defeat the English pair, 22-20 21-19.

“I think it was a tricky one. Unfortunately, we just missed some of the executions of the basic stuff. Maybe we felt like we had to play perfectly, or maybe we were just not sharp enough. It is frustrating to lose, especially for the team, because that was quite an important match,” Lauren Smith said about her and Ellis’s performance.

Despite losing, there are some positives to take from today’s match for the English pair, as Smith explained: “If you look at our performance from the past few days, we got two good sets of level today so it is an improvement.” Ellis agreed with his partner, “Our general performance was better today. That was a very important match for us because the singles are very tough for our team against France but on a personal level, we are quite satisfied.”

Next up, Toma Junior Popov and Cholan Kayan took to the court to fight for the second match. Despite Kayan striking back in the second game, taking the win, Popov managed to close the decider with a second win for the French team, 21-13, 14-21, 21-17.

“This is a really good win for me because I’m still struggling a bit with my injury, so I had to come back in good shape for the Asian tour. I’m happy that I gave the second point for France,” said Popov. The Frenchman is also proud of the overall performance of his team. “I think we’ve done quite okay because we had a lot of good games against the big teams like Japan and Korea.”

Playing for the point that would confirm the victory, Qi Xuefei faced Freya Redfearn. The French player won the match in straight games, 21-11 21-11, confirming France's win over England. Lucas Corvee/ Ronan Labar made it 4-0 for France, winning against Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy, 21-19 21-19.

Matches are still ongoing, with Margot Lambert/ Anne Tran facing Chloe Birch/ Lauren Smith. You can watch the remaining match on BWF TV.

Click here to see all of today’s results. 
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