Russia’s Junior Boys at the top of the EuropePhoto: Rémy Gros
European Youth Championships
Russia showed brave hart and great strength to overcame Azerbaijan in the final of the Junior Boys Team’s Event at the European Youth Championships in Ostrava. They prevailed in five thrilling matches.
Vladimir SIDORENKO had fantastic opening of the match. His performance was at the highest level and YANG Xinyu had no answer to his lethal backhand. It took four games for SIDORENKO to beat Yang. In next duel Maksim GREBNEV faced Azerbaijan’s no. one player YU Khinhang, YU was under severe pressure, but not enough to crack. Lev KATSMAN’s role was crucial. He had to bet WANG Chenxi in order to keep Russia’s hopes alive. That he exactly did. Vladimir SIDORENKO fought like lion against the top Azerbaijan’s player, but he lost in five games. On his second return to the table, Maxim played like his in fire, but not only with his heart, he puzzled YANG with great tactics. He won two opening games 12-10 and sealed the match in ruthless style.
"We knew that it will be very hard for us because Azerbaijan player number one didn´t lose any match. So this was a pressure for us. First match was very important, I beat their player number two, then Maxim GREBNEV lost to their number one, so this was something we expected. In the third match Lev KATSMAN was down during the match but he managed to win and it was really important. Then I was leading against their number one 2-0 and 5-1 maybe I thought that we already won. But I still believed that Maxim Grebnev will win the last match. Because this is European Championships and European players should win it. Maxim played a really good game he was down 7-10 in the first game and then he was better player. We have to thank also to our whole team which gave us fantastic support," said SIDORENKO.
Dominik JONACK dominated in two opening games in the match against Olav KOSOLOSKY. Only after the third game KOSOLOSKY managed to find the answer for JONACK’s defending style of play and he took it by narrow margin. In the finish of the third game he regained the control over the match. It did not last long. In close finish of the fourth game Dominik sealed the match. Similar to first match Adrien RASSENFOSSE lost two opening game against Kay STUMPER returned in third, and then Germany’s player finished the match in fourth game. Felix WETZEL beat Nicolas DEGROS in straight games.
"Before the tournament we did not expect to win the medal, so bronze is a big success for us. It was the main reason why we played without pressure today and the match went well. We are very happy to claim the third place and also ticket to the World Championships. I started my match against Olav KOSOLOSKY very well, then in the third game he played better against my defense so I had to attack more," said JONACK.
Match for gold
Russia – Azerbaijan 3-2
Vladimir SIDORENKO - YANG Xinyu (11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 12-10)
Maksim GREBNEV - YU Khinhang (6-11, 9-11, 8-11)
Lev KATSMAN - WANG Chenxi (12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6)
Vladimir SIDORENKO - YU Khinhang (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8)
Maksim GREBNEV - YANG Xinyu (12-10, 12-10, 11-6)
Match for third position
Germany – Belgium 3-0
Dominik JONACK - Olav KOSOLOSKY (11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9)
Kay STUMPER - Adrien RASSENFOSSE (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6)
Felix WETZEL - Nicolas DEGROS (11-4, 11-8, 11-9)