Men’s Singles second seed Misha Zilberman crashed out of the Baku 2015 European Games to the unfancied Zvonimir Durkinjak of Croatia.
The Israeli looked on course to take his quarter-final place after he clinched the first game in quick time, but the Croat seized a close second game and shut his rival out in the third to earn a 13-21 21-18 21-11 result.
Durkinjak (featured image) will take on Spain’s Pablo Abian, who won a riveting match against Russia’s Vladimir Malkov.
The Abian-Malkov match was the most engrossing of the first session, with the advantage swinging both ways. Abian edged past his rival 25-23 after a 36-minute first game, which saw Malkov save three game points before his opponent desperately retrieved a shuttle from below the net; the shuttle clipped the net and wrong-footed Malkov to give Abian the lead.
The Russian did not lose heart despite trailing 15-19 in the second game and took the match to a decider. After some fierce exchanges early on, the Spaniard gradually asserted his dominance and closed out the contest: 25-23 19-21 21-15.
In the top half of the draw, No.1 seed Scott Evans (Ireland) was not troubled by Bulgaria’s Blagovest Kisyov as he eased through, 21-6 21-13. The top seed will play young Dane Emil Holst, who also was a comfortable winner over Italy’s Rosario Maddaloni, 21-16 21-16.
The top seed in Women’s Singles too made the quarter-finals. Linda Zetchiri (Bulgaria) held off Finland’s Airi Mikkela after some initial trouble, 21-19 21-10.
There were a couple of surprises in Women’s Singles. Fourth seed Neslihan Yigit of Turkey was toppled by France’s Delphine Lansac in a 55-minute match, 8-21 21-10 21-11. The experienced Kristina Gavnholt (Czech Republic) also fell short against Lianne Tan (Belgium), 21-16 21-18.
One of the quarter-finals will be an all-Danish affair. Emerging prospects Anna Thea Madsen and Line Kjaersfeldt ensured a face-off by beating Marija Ulitina (Ukraine) and Jeanine Cicognini (Italy) respectively.