Line Kjaersfeldt stunned No.2 seed Kirsty Gilmour at the 2018 European Championships yesterday to earn a place in the Women’s Singles semi-finals.
Having played confidently to dismiss the Scotswoman, 21-14 21-16, the tall Dane was overcome with emotion as her achievement sank in. Kjaersfeldt will take on No.4 seed, Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia, today for a spot in the final.
“I felt confident and relaxed. I just believed that I could win, and I am so happy that I did. She (Gilmour) was the favourite to win and maybe she also wanted that too much. I just kept going and had good movement and I think that was the difference today,” Kjærsfeldt told Badminton Europe after her match in Huelva, Spain.
Denmark will also have an interest in the other Women’s Singles semi-final with third-seeded Mia Blichfeldt having the weighty task of taking on hometown heroine, Carolina Marin. The latter swept past another Dane, Natalia Koch Rohde (21-17 21-10) to keep her continental-title defence on track inside the venue named in her honour. Blichfeldt survived a tight first game versus Germany’s Yvonne Li but then cruised in the second game, en route to winning 28-26 21-12.
In Men’s Singles, Brice Leverdez of France shrugged off the loss of a tight opening game to oust Nick Fransman; overcoming the Dutchman 22-24 21-15 21-15. The No.4 seed opposes top seed and world No.1 Viktor Axelsen who brushed aside his Danish team-mate, Rasmus Gemke (21-11 21-16). The other semi-final features defending champion, Rajiv Ouseph of England, against Axelsen’s countryman, Jan Jorgensen.
Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov held true to their word exacting sweet revenge in Men’s Doubles. The Russians reversed last year’s quarter-final defeat to Mathias Christiansen/David Daugaard of Denmark (21-15 21-19). For their efforts, they play No.2 seeds, Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding, also of Denmark. The other semi-final is No.3 seeds, Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark), against Jelle Maas/Robin Tabeling (Netherlands).
Women’s Doubles will see pairs from four countries – Bulgaria, Denmark, France and Netherlands – competing to reach the final. Meanwhile, in Mixed Doubles, Chris and Gabby Adcock and Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith will aim for an all-England finale as they face opposition from Germany and Denmark respectively.
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