Photo: Reg CaldecottGiorgos Lazaridis (GRE)
Greece edged out Israel 2-1 in one of Wednesday’s four men’s round-robin group ties on the opening day of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Pre-qualifying Event in Antalya, Turkey.
Stefanos Diamandis powered to a 61 61 victory over Genadi Kohanov in the opening singles rubber of the Group 3 tie before Asaaf Stokol revived Israeli hopes with a 67(3) 61 63 win over George Lazaridis. After all four players took to the court for the deciding doubles rubber Diamandis and Lazaridis edged an enthralling contest 67(4) 63 (10-3) to give Greece the overall victory, with both nations now set to face Lithuania in their three-way group.
The Group 2 contest between Italy and Russia featured another three set contest in the opening singles rubber as Luca Spano outlasted Yuri Golovin 75 16 60. Fabian Mazzei went on to give Italy an unassailable 2-0 lead before Ivan Lion partnered Spano to complete a 3-0 victory. Croatia will play Italy and Russia in the remaining ties in the group.
With four teams in men’s Group 1, Yann Avanthey, Daniel Pellegrina, Herbert Keller and Thomas von Daeniken each played a part in Switzerland’s 3-0 victory over Denmark. Meanwhile, the host nation got off to a good start as Ibrahim Batmaz, Turan Akalin, Muharrem Cakmak and Ismail Canturk all played in Turkey’s 3-0 victory over Norway’s Bjorn Olav Carlsen and Tim Marius Berg.
However, Turkey were unable to get off to a similar winning start in Group 2 of the women’s event as Austria’s Margrit Fink and Henriett Koosz both secured 61 61 wins in their respective singles rubbers against Ebru Bulgurcu and Busra Un. Koosz and Waltraud Posch completed Austria’s 3-0 victory in the tie.
The two round-robin ties in Group 1 saw former World Team Cup champions France defeat Ukraine 3-0, for the loss of a total of just five games, while Veronika Zvik earned a 63 64 win over Louise Willersley-Olsen in the closest of all the women’s matches on the opening day of competition as Israel went on to beat Denmark 3-0.