Ouseph & Navickas last Europeans MS standing
Date: 10/9/2014 8:40 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
It was a day of serious attrition in the men’s singles draw from a European perspective as only two home continent players managed to forge a path to the quarter finals with Lithuania’s Kestutis Navickas (main picture) being involved in the most controversial of third round matches. 

The Lithuanian number one, whom has battled back to fitness from a serious of career threatening injuries, was involved in a ding dong battle against Ukraine’s Valeriy Atrashchenkov and at 10-8 ahead in the fourth game looked to have the match under control.

But those who know Navickas know that drama is never too far away. Atrashchenkov pulled a point back to 10-9 and when Navickas played a clear smash winner down the line he celebrated as only he could with clenched fist and screams to the heavens. However his celebration was cut short after realising the line judged called the shot out and the point was awarded to Atrashchenkov. The Ukrainian rattled off the final point of the set to the utter dismay of Navickas to take the match into a deciding set.

In the final game Navickas this time found himself three game points down but somehow managed to control his nerve and temperament to take three points in a row to deservedly book his quarter final spot after what was an obvious terrible call from the line judge in the previous set.

“I could not believe what happened in that fourth game. I thought I had the match won as the shuttle was clearly in and I think the line judge knew she made a bad mistake but the umpire did not overrule”

“That being said I am so happy to have won and I think justice was done in the end” said a happy Navickas.

Top seed and English number one Rajiv Ouseph joined Navickas in tomorrow’s quarter final with an improving victory over Chun Seang Tan of Malaysia. Ouseph, by his own admission has not had the best of years and is looking to put a string of wins together ahead of a tough Superseries stint in the coming weeks.

“Yes it has not been the best year for me and I have not played since the World Championships in Copenhagen so it is nice to come back and gets some wins under my belt. Super Series is coming soon and hopefully a series of wins here will do to build my confidence”

In a strange twist of fate both Navickas and Ouseph now meet in the quarter final thus guaranteeing a European in the men’s singles semi-finals.

Fontaine & Mittelheisser take down top seeds

Bubbly French pair Gaetan Mittelheisser and Audrey Fontaine caused one of the biggest upsets of the day by defeating top seeded Indonesian pair Vita Marissa and Muhammad Rijal. Mittelheisser in particular dominated his more experienced male opponent from the rear court to win in four games.

Jorrit De Ruiter and Samantha Barning are the last Dutch pair standing in the mixed after coming through an all Dutch second round match against Jelle Maas and Iris Tabeling. In a tense match the Dutch exchanged the second and third games 11-10 with the higher ranked De Ruiter and Barning closing out the match with a 11-8 win in the third after winning the opening set.

Ukrainian pair Natarov and Kazarinova proved to be the surprise packet of the mixed doubles draw and take an unlikely spot in the quarter finals in a line up dominated by Indonesia with top seeds Rijal and Marissa looking a class apart.

Chapman looking like a formidable force

English number two Fontaine Chapman is starting to look like a real threat to the podium in Almere. Chapman, fresh from her involvement in the new English National League on Monday, was too hot for Belgium’s Lianne Tan this afternoon and is looking like a faster and fitter athlete this season as she looks to build on her comeback season from last year.

“I felt comfortable out there today even after such a short game yesterday which I won due to an injury to my opponent. I know Lianne can be tricky and get everything back but I am happy with the way I controlled the match and I am pretty comfortable with this experimental scoring system”.

Following in Chapman’s footsteps was English young gun Panuga Riou who was made battle to the death against Malaysian Saniru. Truth be told at two games to one up and at 7-2 ahead in the fourth game the English girl looked to have the match sown up but 9 points from 10 saw the Malaysian somehow level the match at 2-2.

Riou settled held her nerves in the decider to advance to the quarter final and with it really announce her arrival to big time badminton.

For all results from Yonex Dutch Open click HERE
For full Facebook photo gallery from Almere click HERE

Article and Images by Mark Phelan (Live in Almere for Badminton Europe)
© All rights reserved.

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