31 Mar 2014

Semifinalists decided at European Qualification

Match Report

Photo: Mathilde DusolArtur Saitgareev (RUS)

Switzerland and Russia completed the semifinal line-ups for the men’s event and reached the semifinals of the women’s event along with France and Italy after the final set of round-robin pool ties were completed on Monday’s third day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification in Antalya, Turkey.

Russia came from behind to beat Romania 2-1 in pool 3 of the men’s event after Anton Ciprian had given Romania an early lead when winning his opening singles rubber in three sets for the second day in succession.

Ciprian defeated Ivan Anreev 61 46 62 to boost Romania’s ambitions, but Artur Saitgareev and Anreev saw Russia safely through in first position in their pool after claiming the second singles rubber and the doubles, with Saitgareev and Anreev overcoming Ciprian and Filisan Ionut 61 64.

The first singles rubber of Switzerland’s final round-robin tie against Croatia was also the only contest to go to three sets as Switzerland prevailed 3-0 to finish at the top of pool 1. Raphael Gremion eventually beat Anto Joskic 61 36 62 and combined with Daniel Pellegrina to win the doubles after Pellegrina had dropped just one game in his singles against Drazen Miksic.

Second seed Switzerland will play Hungary in the semifinals, with Hungary having already finished unbeaten at the top of pool 2, while fourth seed Russia will meet top seed Spain in the other semifinal.

After a 2-1 loss to Hungary on the opening day of play, third seed Israel will take on Croatia in the first of the play-off ties s for fifth to eight places. Israel finished runner-up to Hungary in pool 2 after Adam Berdichevsky and Amir Levi earned a 3-0 win over Lithuania’s Jan Vysockij and Aleksandr Olechnovic.

Switzerland defeats Belgium to reach women’s semifinals

Among the last four round-robin ties in the two women’s pools there was only one that went to a deciding doubles rubber as fourth seed Switzerland beat Belgium 2-1.

Switzerland has certainly benefitted from the experience of former world No. 6 Karin Suter-Erath so far in Antalya, with Suter-Erath having previously been a part of two Swiss women’s teams that have finished runners-up in the World Team Cup. She claimed the only singles rubber to end 60 60 on Monday, beating Pathy Mortier to give Switzerland the lead over Belgium and then, with Else Verhoeven having levelled the tie, partnered Simona Rusnak to win the doubles 61 61.

Switzerland finished second in pool 1 of the women’s event after a 2-1 loss to top seed France on the opening day and will now play second seed Russia in the semifinals following Russia’s 3-0 win over Poland. Ludmila Bubnova, Polina Shakirova and Viktoriia Lvova all secured straight sets wins in both singles rubbers and the doubles rubber as Russia finished unbeaten at the top of pool 2 ahead of third seed Italy.

France and Italy will meet in what should be another enthralling semifinal after 3-0 wins over Sweden and Turkey respectively.

After Pauline Helouin and Charlotte Famin had given France an unassailable lead against Sweden after the two singles rubber, Emilie Chene partnered Helouin to win the doubles rubber 60 60.

Stefania Galletti and Marianna Lauro also put Italy out of the reach of host nation Turkey before Silvia Morotti joined forces with Galletti for a 63 60 doubles victory.