13 Apr 2018

Men's semifinalists decided in Vilamoura

News Article

Photo: Carlos Alves Sousa United Photo Press.Jozo Milos (CRO)

Spain will play Croatia and Greece will take on Israel in Saturday’s men’s semifinals at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification after all four top-seeded nations topped their round-robin pools on Friday in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Russia and Sweden also claimed comfortable wins in Friday’s two round-robin ties in the women’s event as second seed Russia joined top seed Great Britain on two wins heading into Saturday’s fourth day of competition.

Men’s semifinalists decided

Martin de la Puente and Daniel Caverzaschi, both world-ranked inside the Top 20, dropped just three games apiece in winning their two singles rubbers to give top seed Spain an unassailable lead against Hungary in Pool 1. De la Puente and Caverzaschi then closed out a 3-0 victory for Spain after winning the doubles rubber 61 60.

Fourth seed Croatia secured its third successive 2-1 win after a deciding doubles rubber to top Pool 4, beating host national Portugal. João Sanona gave the hosts an early lead, edging past Jozo Milos 46 64 64. However, Anto Joskic and Drazen Miksic dropped just four games in total across the remaining singles rubber and the doubles to earn Croatia its place in the last four against Spain.

Second seed Greece won both singles rubbers in its last Pool 2 contest against Czech Republic before Czech Republic snatched a thrilling doubles rubber.

Giorgos Lazaridis set Greece on the way to victory with his 46 64 62 win over Petr Utikal, while Stefanos Diamantis put the overall result beyond doubt when beating Michal Stefan 61 64. With both nations brining in a new team member for the doubles, Tomas Svasek and Utikal claimed an absorbing match against Lazaridis and Epaminondas Stamatis 76(2) 36 (16-14).

Third seed Israel dominated its last Pool 3 tie against Romania as Guy Sasson and Adam Berdichevsky dropped just five games between them in their two singles rubbers against Stancu Filisan and Mihai Gaita. Berdichevsky and Asaaf Stokol wrapped up a resounding 3-0 win, racing through the doubles rubber without dropping a game as Israel set up a rematch of the 2016 European Qualification men’s final against Greece.

Switzerland will play Hungary and Czech Republic will play Slovakia in the first of two days of play-offs for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth places. Anthony Dittmar levelled Germany’s last Pool 4 tie against Switzerland, but Raphael Gremion and Daniel Dalla Pellegrina soon put the result beyond doubt, winning the deciding doubles rubber 60 60.   

Russia and Sweden women dominate latest ties

Russia remains on track to possibly meet Great Britain in a winner-takes-all tie on Sunday after beating Belgium 3-0. Ludmila Bubnova provided the foundation for a dominant performance, defeating Sofie Cox 62 60. Viktoriia Lvova gave Russia an unassailable lead with a 61 62 win over Els Verhoeven and went on to join forces with Polina Shakirova to claim the doubles rubber 63 61.

Russia, winner of the European Qualification in 2014 and 2016, will now play Austria.

Austria’s hopes of a first round-robin win came undone against Sweden, with Sanna Klindt taking the opening singles rubber against Christina Pesendorfer 61 63. Rebecca Sternisa Bellander held on in a much closer singles contest, beating Margrit Fink 76(4) 64.

After a rest day from competition top seed Great Britain resumes its campaign on Saturday against Belgium.