Belgium’s Lianne Tan survived a tough test to enter the Women’s Singles semi-finals at the Baku 2015 European Games today.
Tan’s victory over France’s Delphine Lansac helped salvage the day for Belgium as her sibling Yuhan had earlier lost his Men’s Singles quarter-final.
Tan (featured image) will play Spain’s Clara Azurmendi while Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva takes on Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt in the semi-finals.
Three of the four Women’s Singles quarter-finals went the distance. Veteran Nedelcheva fought off a one game deficit to beat Russia’s Ksenia Polikarpova 13-21 21-11 21-13. However, Nedelcheva’s top-seeded compatriot Linda Zetchiri could not join her in the last four as she was upset by Azurmendi, 19-21 21-17 21-17. In another quarter-final, Line Kjaersfeldt had it rather easy over Danish compatriot Anna Thea Madsen, 21-9 21-14.
Tan’s victory was hard-earned. Lansac dominated the early part of the match, throwing herself around the court and controlling the net.
With a 11-5 lead in the second, it appeared that the Frenchwoman had things in her grasp, but from 7-10, Tan ran up a sequence of points as Lansac appeared to flag under the pressure. From midway in the third game, Lansac could not match Tan’s superior athleticism and caved in, 16-21 21-16 21-15.
The top seed in Men’s Singles too was shown the door. Ireland’s Scott Evans was outclassed 21-17 21-14 by young Dane Emil Holst (above), who next faces Germany’s Dieter Domke. Lithuania’s Kestutis Navickas, who outgunned Yuhan Tan 21-14 21-6, plays Spain’s Pablo Abian in the other semi-final.
Men’s Doubles top seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen however faced no problems in securing a final place. The Danes proved too strong for Raphael Beck/Andreas Heinz (Germany), 21-18 21-17. Their opponents in the final will be European champions Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov (Russia), who too were not stretched by Ireland’s Sam Magee/Joshua Magee, 21-5 21-9.
Women’s Doubles top seeds Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva (Bulgaria) ensured their place in the final, beating third seeds Ozge Bayrak/Neslihan Yigit (Turkey) 21-14 21-9.
The Mixed Doubles semi-finals tomorrow will see top seeds Sam and Chloe Magee against France’s Gaetan Mittelheisser/Audrey Fontaine and Niclas Nohr/Sara Thygesen (Denmark) against Raphael Beck/Kira Kattenbeck. Germany’s Beck and Kattenback (above) scored a big upset, over second seeds Vitalij Durkin/Nina Vislova of Russia, 21-16 21-19.