EURO TEAMS 2010 – Russian Ladies ease past Gutsy Scots

Russia’s strength in depth was all too evident on court in the first of the ladies’ quarter-finals as they sealed a comfortable 3-0 win to advance to tomorrow’s semi- final. […]


Russia’s strength in depth was all too evident on court in the first of the ladies’ quarter-finals as they sealed a comfortable 3-0 win to advance to tomorrow’s semi- final.

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

The Russian women’s team, who cruised through the group stages of this European team championships, proved that they are certainly gold medal contenders with a highly professional 3-0 defeat of Scotland in the opening women’s quarter-final.

Russia opened their account in the first singles courtesy of the ultra-reliable Ella Diehl (pictured). The tall Russian was in complete control from the outset as she imposed her game and her tempo on the match. At 12-11 in the first, Diehl rattled off a string of 6 points which all but sealed the opening set and with the Russian eventually clinching the opener 21-12.

The second set was almost identical to the first as Egelstaff held onto the Russian’s coattails as she trailed 14-12. Once again Diehl found another gear and took another 6 consecutive points to put the challenge of the Scottish number one completely out of reach. The expressionless Russian sealed the deal with another 21-12 win in the second set.

“I had a clear idea what I wanted to do against Susan today. Last time she beat me in Scotland so I wanted to win this one. We know each other’s game inside out so I knew I had to stick to my game plan and see the match through to the end. We are very focused as a team and now I think we have a good balance throughout the squad,” said a reflective Diehl after her quarter-final win.

euro10poland_ger_deprezNext on court for Russia was Tatjana Bibik, who in every way is the polar opposite of her more experienced team-mate. The pint sized powerhouse bounced around the court with clenched fists as she two gave her opponent, Linda Sloan, no opportunity to establish a foothold in the game. After taking the first set 21-14 the diminutive Bibik blew Sloan away in the second as the Scot could only feed of the Russian scraps at the quarter-final table. With a 21-9 victory in the second the Russians were now well on their way to victory.

The third match on court, in theory, should have proved a real test for the Russians. All week the Scottish pair of Bankier and Mason have impressed and many expected them to give Vislova and Sorokina a run for their money. However it was not to be as the Russians dictated the play and took the match 21-11 21-15 to advance to tomorrow’s semi-final where they will meet The Netherlands.

In the second semi-final, Germany proved way too strong for Bulgaria and not to be outdone eased into a semi-final showdown with Denmark tomorrow. Juliane Schenk dealt with the powerful threat of Petya Nedelcheva in 2 sets as the Bulgarian battles back from a recent injury. Linda Zechiri let a 19-18 lead slip in the first set to lose 21-19 to the bubbly Karin Schnasse. The German buoyed by the first win ran out a 21-12 winner in the second to give the Germans a 2 match lead. In the absence of Carolla Bott, who picked up an injury earlier in the week, the job of wrapping up the match for Germany fell to 16 year old Fabienne Deprez (pictured). The German lost the first set to Dimitria Popstoykova but rallied to take the second to 9 before booking the German semi-final spot with a 21-17 win in the deciding rubber.

Tomorrow’s semi-final line-up sees Denmark take on Germany while Russia square up against The Netherlands. As always, the cream rises to the top!!

For all results click HERE

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