Photo: ITFEvelyne Claverie (FRA)
Turkey’s men held off a determined challenge from Denmark to reach Saturday’s play-off semifinals at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Pre-qualification for Europe.
The third day of play in Antalya saw Turkey and Denmark go into their last round-robin tie in Group 1 on one win apiece and Muharrem Cakmak gave the host nation a good start when he beat Christian Illum 62 64.
Christof Holmer made a bold attempt at keeping Denmark in the tie, but Turan Akalin dominated the third and final set between the duo to close out a 75 26 60 victory and earn Turkey their place in the semifnals. The dead doubles rubber proved to be even closer before Akalin and Cakmak finally sealed a 3-0 win when they edged out Illum and Holmer 63 26 (10-8).
Turkey go into the semifinals as runners-up in Group 1 to Switzerland after Herbert Keller, Yann Ananthey and Thomas von Daeniken dropped just three games between them in winning their final tie against Norway 3-0.
Switzerland will meet Greece in their semifinal after Greece topped Group 3, while Luca Spano and Fabian Mazzei ensured Italy’s victory over Croatia to leave Italy at the top of Group 2 and facing a semifinal against Turkey.
In the women’s round-robin phase France completed their third 3-0 victory in three days in Group 1 as Evelyne Claverie, Christine Schoenn and Emilie Chene beat Denmark’s Louise Willersley-Olsen and Malese Olesen for the loss of just four games.
Israel claimed the runners-up spot in the group after Verionika Zvik set them on the way to victory over Ukraine. Zvik beat Olena Grabovskaya 64 62, while Inna Mashkovski secured a resounding 60 61 win over Olena Shyngaryova. With Israel guaranteed the overall victory the doubles rubber produced a highly competitive contest, with Mashkovski and Zvik edging to a 75 64 win.
Austria topped Group 2 undefeated after Margrit Fink, Waltraud Posch and Henriett Koosz yielded just a single game against Russia and while Austria play Israel in the semifinals, Group 2 runners-up Turkey face France.