EURO TEAMS 2010 – Denmark through after Doubles Scare

Denmark advanced, as expected, to tomorrow’s European Women’s team final but only after a mid match scare as Juhl and Frier were toppled by number 1 German pairing Overzier and […]


Denmark advanced, as expected, to tomorrow’s European Women’s team final but only after a mid match scare as Juhl and Frier were toppled by number 1 German pairing Overzier and Marinello in 2 straight sets.

By Mark Phelan (live in Warsaw).  Photos: (live)

Denmark were always favourites heading into today’s semi-final against Germany and when the teams were announced this morning all bets were firmly on Juhl and Frier winning the first women’s doubles. As it so often happens in badminton, things don’t always go according to plan.

Tine Rasmussen opened the champions’ account as she inflicted Juliane Schenks first singles defeat of the week in two straight sets 21-16, 21-13. In many ways Rasmussen’s victory was expected and as always the world number 10 was professional in her executing of the win.

What happened next went a little against the grain as a misfiring Juhl and Frier never really found a rhythm on court today and went down 17-21, 22-24 against a delighted Overzier and Marinello. The defeat levelled the match at 1-1 and the focus promptly shifted to the second singles game between Camilla Sorensen (pictured) and Karin Schnasse.

The Dane, who looks fitter than ever after a long layoff with a shoulder injury, assumed the responsibility of regaining the Danish advantage and, in a display of lightning-quick singles play, pulled away to take the opening set 21-13 against the German.

In the second, Schnasse upped her tempo in an effort to thwart Sorensen’s relentless attack but could never quite match the intensity and pace set by the Dane. Once in front Sorensen drilled home her advantage and restored the Danes’ lead in the tie with a 21-16 win in the second set.

“After the girls (Juhl and Frier) lost, the focus was on me to deliver a win but I did not feel any pressure at all.  Actually, I really enjoyed myself on court today. I have been injuredfor the best part of a year and I have come back more focused than ever. We knew this would be a difficult match but we also know we have the team to win and gold is what we are after here in Warsaw,” said Sorensen after her victory over Schnasse.

With a 2-1 lead the focus of the arena now centred on the second women’s doubles. Schenk was back in action with jumpeuro10poland_rus_semi_bibik smashing partner Johanna Goliszewski while the old reliable partnership of Ropke and Nielsen took to the court for Denmark.

For the second time the Danish doubles failed to settle in the opening set and there was a hushed murmur around the hall when the Germans took the set 21-18. But reliable is the middle name for Ropke and Nielsen and who better to have to count on when Danish backs are to the wall. The recent Swedish Open winners battled back to a second set 21-15 win and then pressed home their advantage to take the third to 13 and send Denmark’s ladies into yet another European women’s team final.

Tomorrow the Danes will face the Russians as they completely demolished a gutsy Dutch squad. Ella Diehl, as normal, sent the Russians on their merry way with a more than convincing 21-17, 21-7 win against Patty Stolzenback which was quickly followed by point number 2 as the ultra-fit Bibik (pictured) gave a lesson in professional badminton to Yik Man Wong as the Russian bullet cruised to a 21-13, 21-6 win. In the women’s doubles, the old heads of Pauline Van Dooremalen and Lotte Jonathans put up a stiff resistance to Vislova and Sorokina but just didn’t not have enough in the tank as the Russians won the match 21-12, 21-18.

Tomorrow’s final is sure to be electric and it is very hard to call a winner. One thing is for sure, whichever teams does take gold, will have earned it the hard way as both teams are laden with talent and every match will be impossible to call.

For all results, click HERE


About Mark Phelan