Evans & Holst hold strong as seeds tumble
Date: 4/5/2014 11:57 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

As the main draw kicked into action in Helsinki this morning so the seeds started to fall. The men’s singles lost all but three of the fancied players with only Ireland’s Scott Evans (pictured), Danish number 5th seed Emil Holst and Lucas Corvee surviving the cull.

Coming into the tournament all the talk was about the potential final between local boy Ville Lang and Swedish number 2 seed Henri Hurskainen especially after the thrilling final between both at Swedish Masters in January. However Helsinki and the Finnish Open showed its teeth and both players fell to lower ranked opposition within minutes of each other.

Hurskainen was the first to fall going down in three games to Danish independent player Steffen Rasmussen and Lang was hot on the Swede’s heels coming unstuck against Hurskainen’s team mate from Sweden, Gabriel Ulldahl.

Lang has rued missed chances year after year at his home international but was clear in discussing his short terms goal as the Europeans championships loom large.

“People always ask how come I have not won here in Finland when I have won so many other tournaments. I think it is just one of those things and of course it would be nice to win sometime but right now my main focus is Kazan in a few weeks’ time”

While Joachim Persson and Andre Kurniwan Tedjono also followed Lang and Hurskainen out early Scott Evan’s showed his battling qualities coming back from 15-6 behind in his opening set against Chinese Taipei shuttler Shih Kuei Chun. The Irishman took an 8-0 lead in the second game and never looked troubled in advancing to the quarter final.

European junior champion from 2009, Denmark’s Emil Holst, followed Evans into the quarter final and will now play Ulldahl, the conqueror of Lang, in the quarter final.

Comeback queen does it again

Last week in Orleans Anna Thea Madsen came back from a 16-4 deficit to win her opening match at the French International. This week, while not quite as dramatic, Madsen once again displayed her battling qualities to come back from 18-10 down in the deciding game against Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya before pulling another miracle out of the bag in the second round saving two match points against number two seed Chloe Magee from Ireland.

Madsen was followed into the quarter finals by team mates Line Kjaersfeldt and quarter final opponent Sandra Maria Jensen to assure Denmark of at least one player in the semi-finals.

Top seed Kristina Gavnholt cruised through to yet another quarter final in dominant fashion and Bulgaria’s European junior champion Stefani Stoeva followed defeating Akvile Stapusaityte in three games.

Worlds on agenda for Danish Duo

Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen are in Finland for one reason only to win and with it try and qualify for the world championships in Copenhagen in August. Sitting just inside the cut off mark at world ranking 23 the Danes need to win and hope some results go their way at Super Series in India to be able to line out in Copenhagen in the summer.

The Danes as top seeds had a poor outing in Orleans last week but two easy opening wins has banished those memories and look focused and determined to achieve their goal here in Finland.

Second seeds Coles and Nottingham harbour memories of a European junior winning performance in the very same venue and are feeling right at home as they cruised through the opening rounds untroubled. Irish pair Magee and Dolan are starting to look like the real deal and their development will be tested against Colberg and Mikkelsen in tomorrow’s quarter final.

For all results from Finland click HERE

For facebook photo gallery click HERE

To watch the quarter finals and semi-finals live from 10am local time subscribe to Badminton Europe’s Youtube channel for free by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Finland)

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