European Championships: Christo Popov Falls to Lanier

European Championships: Christo Popov Falls to Lanier

Frenchman Alex Lanier beat third-seeded compatriot Christo Popov in a high-profile second round clash at the 2024 European Championships in Saarbrucken yesterday.

Lanier, who hadn’t taken a game off Popov in two previous international matches, was dominant from the start and never relinquished his lead in the opening game. Popov had his chances in the second, but after 12-all the momentum shifted Lanier’s way and the world No.46 completed the win at 21-17 21-19.

He will next take on home hope Fabian Roth, who beat Hungary’s Gergo Pytel in straight games.

Christo’s older brother Toma Junior Popov, the fourth seed, had no trouble making the second round as he dispatched Spanish veteran Pablo Abian 21-10 21-9. Toma Junior, who trails Christo by 2,805 points in the Race to Paris, has a shot at overtaking his brother.

Svabikova beats Buhrova

Czechia’s Tereza Svabikova won a crucial match against fellow-Olympic contender Polina Buhrova 28-26 21-19.

“I knew it would be really hard because Polina is a great fighter. So I was ready for the long rallies. I was willing to run as long as it took,” said Svabikova to Badminton Europe. Svabikova is No.32 in the Race to Paris, while Buhrova is No.33.

“I want to cry, because there are five-six of us here in fighting for two-three spots at the Olympics and the coincidence is that we are all playing each other. So it’s nice to win but I was very nervous.”

An emotional Svabikova.

Other Highlights

» Germany’s Miranda Wilson won one of the closest matches of the day, 24-22 23-21 against Ireland’s Rachel Darragh.

» Four of Denmark’s women’s singles contenders progressed. Third seed Line Kjaersfeldt, Julie Dawall Jacobsen, Line Christophersen and second seed Mia Blichfeldt made their way into the third round.

» In mixed doubles, top seeds Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra BØje set up a quarterfinal showdown with fifth seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith, with both pairs winning their second round in straight games.

» Third seeds Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek eased to a 21-16 21-8 result over Scotland’s Adam Pringle/Rachel Andrew and will face Spain’s Ruben Garcia/Lucia Rodriguez.

Wilson came through a difficult test.