European Championships

The knock out stage commenced in Cluj – matches for the medals

At the end of the playing day, today, at the GAZPROM European Team Championships we will know all medal winners. The quarterfinal matches are on the menu today in BT Arena in Cluj. You can follow the action live on

Austria – Russia 2:3

In the fight of epic proportions young Russiasn team reach the medal rostrum after the win over Austria. After 2:0 Austria is seemed to be en route for victory, but Lev KATSMAN had different ideas and Vladimir SIDORENKO and Maksim GREBNEV dully agreed.

Daniel HABESOHN overcame Vladimir SIDORENKO (11:7, 9:11, 11:7, 11:6) in the opening match and Robert GARDOS also prevailed against Maksim GREBNEV (11:8, 11:4, 11:9).

“In the opening game I had 8:4 and then at 8:6, coach called for time out. I was shocked, did not expet this and I lost my focus. I was not prepared for that nor I wanted it. I kept on thinking of that game and lost next two. Even in the match against GARDOS I was still thinking of that match in two opening games. Then, I just managed to find my focus and to win against HABESOHN,” said GREBNEV.

Maksim overcame GARDOS in five games (11:8, 11:9, 6:11, 7:11, 12:14).

Lev KATSMAN turn the course of the match. He entered the game at 0:2 and beat Andreas LEVENKO (5:11, 8:11, 11:9, 9:11).

”I had the easiest task regarding the adversary, but for me it was difficult since it was my first match at the tournament. I did not play in the Group stage,” said KATSMAN.

Robert GARDOS lost to Vladimir SIDORENKO (6:11, 11:9, 11:8, 9:11, 5:11) in the decisive match.

“I did not want to play. The pressure was enourmous. At 2:2 we are playing for the medal at the senior Championships. I was affraid, I asked coach could Kirill play instead of me, but coach did not let happen. I played and I felt incredibly, I was quiet; I did not celebrate winning points. However I have my teammates shouting and celebrating and giving me support. At 2:1 and 6:6, GARDOS made an easy mistake and then I realise that he is affraid too. It game confidence, launched me back in the match. I become totaly focused,” explained SIDORENKO.

Germany – Poland 3:0

Renuvejated team Germany concluded their morning duel in three matches. Poland who also play without top names failed to produce the point despite very close encounters. Sabine WINTER opened the duel with the win over Katarzyna WEGRZYN (11:9, 7:11, 11:7, 11:8), Nina MITTELHAM stayed at the same path with the victory over Natalia BAJOR (12:10, 8:11, 11:8, 11:8) and Chantal MANTZ beat Anna WEGRZYN (11:0, 11:7, 13:11).

“It was our aim to win this match and we knew that we could manage it but is always difficult. We stayed mentally strong, we won 3-0 and now we just happy, we gonna celebrate a few minutes today but we will be prepared and we will keep going tomorrow. We play against Ukraine or Portugal, I don’t really know at what time, sometime tomorrow, I think we don’t really care we can beat them both. We will be motivated and ready for the fight.” said Sabine WINTER.

Winner of the POMEGRANATE Top 16 Europe Cup Nina MITTELHAM pointed that the match was much harder than the results predicts.

“ It looks quite easy but it was a tough match. In each match we fought really hard. Sabine WINTER won the first in four games and her victory gave me room for the next match. But despite Sabine’s vitory I felt a lot of pressure. I think that I managed quite well the pressure and I am happy that we won and gave Chantal MANTZ a two zero lead. She started also really good and she won her match. We are happy that we could manage to win three zero. We are in the semis now and this is absolutely amazing. Our goal was to reach the quarter finals to qualify for the World Championships next year. And the we said that evrything that will come after it’s a bonus. Now we are in the semis and we hope that we can reach also the finals. We have nothing to lose. We will give our best and hopefully we will win tomorrow” said MITTELHAM.

Ukraine – Portugal 1:3

Only Solomiya BRATEYKO managed to score for Ukraine. She beat Rita FINS (5:11, 2:11, 11:7, 6:11). FU Yu showed no mercu. FU beat Ganna GAPONOVA (11:7, 11:4, 11:5) and Margaryta PESOTSKA (11:7, 11:6, 11:6). PESOTSKA also lost to SHAO Jieni (11:5, 11:6, 11:6).

Austria - France 0:3

France secured the place at the medal rostrum after the victory over Austria. Prithika PAVADE overcame Sofia POLCANOVA (6:11, 11:13, 11:8, 2:11) to give her team dream start. LIU Jia could not change the course of the match. She lost to YUAN Jia Nan (10:12, 14:12, 8:11, 9:11), whilst CHASSELIN, Pauline overcame Karoline MISCHEK (12:14, 5:11, 6:11).

“France team knew from the beginning that this match won’t be easy. POLCANOVA, LIU, and MISCHEK are very good players. Today we all played well so we managed to win. We are so proud that we won this match. I din’t play before against Jia LIU so I had to concentrate and to stay focused. At the end of the first set LIU was leading 10 – 9 but I managed to save a set point and finally I won the set 14 – 12. We are so happy to play in the semis. I hope that we will play better and better ” said Jia Nan YUAN.

Romania – Sweden 1:3

Sweden halted Romania's progres to the penultimate stage and by doing so inflicted the pain in the harts of the host nation supporters. Ovidiu IONESCU lost to Anton KALLBERG at the begining (11:13, 11:9, 8:11, 11:13), but supported by frantic fans Rares SIPOS beat Mattias FALCK (11:8, 6:11, 11:6, 8:11, 11:9) to level the match. Hunor SZOCS suffered by the hands of Truls MOREGARD (12:10, 4:11, 5:11, 8:11) before Darius MOVILEANU entered the game. IONESCU was forced to withdrew due the sholder injury, so young player faced Mattias FALCK (5:11, 9:11, 5:11).

“I really had a tough game against SZOCS, I have to come back after I lost the opening game,” said MOREGARD.” Tomorow I expect a very energetic and good match against Russia's side. I played with those young players so many times before in youth categories, so I know what kind of challenge I could expect and it will be fun to play. “

FALCK lost to SIPOS, but he was not dissapointed with his performance.

“His play did not come as a suprise to me. In Nant we played 11:9 in fifth game, also in Bundesliga two or three matches concluded in desicive game by the narow margin...I guess I missed few balls today which opened the space for Rares. It is pitty that IONESCU suffered from injury, but even like this Romania put us under pressure. KALLBERG faced 1:1, I lost one match and MOREGARD was one game down,” said FALCK.

FALCK praised Russia's team.

'They created big upset by beating France and Austria. Today they even played without experineced SHIBAEV and SKACKOV; they are really impressive.”

Denmark – England 3:2

Almost 4 hours, exactly three and 50 minutes, lasted the quarterfinal match which launched Denmark to the medal rostrum. It was England who suffered after nail biting thriller. Jonathan GROTH lost to Paul DRINKHALL (5:11, 11:8, 7:11, 11:7, 8:11) but the hero of the duel Anders LIND leveled after great performance against Liam PITCHFORD (8:11, 11:7, 11:9, 7:11, 11:9). Tobias RASMUSSEN overcame Samuel WALKER (11:9, 9:11, 8:11, 11:4, 11:8), but GROTH lose again. PITCHFORD recorded straight games victory (9:11, 7:11, 6:11). In the decisive match Anders LIND beat DRINKHALL (7:11, 11:8, 7:11, 11:5, 11:7).

“It was a very difficult match coming into it. England has a very strong team We had a rough start with Jonathan GROTH going down so we were down 1-0. Then I played my match and I played really well. I made it 1-1 playing against PITCHFORD and then we all got our spirit again. It’s 1 all and there is always a chance. My teammate Tobias RASMUSSEN played an amazing match, I don’t know how he managed to win this one. He is really, really strong mental, we are all very proud of him. Jonathan GROTH unfortunately lost to Liam PITCHFORD who played so good this match. Then in my fifth match against Paul it’s probably the most satisfying moment of my life but during the match it was pure hell. I was tired, I had pain, everything felt bad. I got a yellow card against me . But I managed somehow to stay strong and positive which has been my problem in the past. And now we are in the semifinals and I can’t explain how happy I am. It’s unbelievable feeling right now, absolutely unbelievable,” said LIND.

LIND came back from injury and recovered from surgery.

“I had a car crash six months ago. There was a guy who had a heart attack on the highway and drove directly onto me so I crashed at 90 maybe 100 km/h and I broke to bones in my back. I had a hard recovery, a lot of pain and still I feel a little bit of it. I practiced now for three or four weeks and in practice I felt unbelievably bad for a long time. And then I played some of my best tennis of my life. I don’t know how it’s happened. It’s a true miracle but I am happy that it happened,” said Anders LIND.


Romania – Luxembourg 3:0

Reigning champions, Romania booked their semi final place without due alarm. Bernadette SZOCS beat Sarah DE NUTTE in straight games (11:9, 11:5, 11:9), Elizabeta SAMARA needed one more to overcame NI Xia Lian (11:7, 11:9, 4:11, 11:9). Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN concluded the match in another straight games encounter against Tessy GONDERINGER (11:7, 11:5, 12:10).

Romania is in the semi-finals

“We are really happy that we qualified to the semi-finals. Today was a though match with lot of pressure, and it was very complicated. Xia Lian always caused a lot of problems to us but happily, Samara has been very experienced and we counted on her ability to make impossible - possible and to beat NI. We hope tomorrow we will have a lot of supporters, to help us go to the final” said Dodean.

Czech Republic – Germany 1:3

Germany was severely tested in the match against Czech Republic. Benedikt DUDA overcame Tomas POLANSKY in the opening match (11:9, 5:11, 8:11, 5:11), but Lubomir JANCARIK leveled with the win over Patrick FRANZISKA (11:8, 11:8, 1:11, 9:11, 11:8). Jiri MARTINKO lost to Dang QIU (3:11, 10:12, 12:10, 7:11) and Tomas POLANSKY suffered by the hands of Patrick FRANZISKA (6:11, 11:8, 10:12, 2:11).

“We knew that the Czechs are in top shape.  I personally knew that against Lubomir JANCARIK, my first opponent will be a close match.  We always play close, almost always 2 – 3 or 3 – 2.  I couldn’t manage to win this one but fortunately my teammates made it a lot better than me so I continued to play with a little bit more confidence in the game. To be in semifinals is not usual for us, it is always a hard fight.  The Danish team played obviously very well and they caused many upsets against Portugal, and also against England,” said FRANZISKA.