by Simon Daish
Germany faced a tough meeting with Romania in the lower half of the semi-finals draw, as all five matches were required before a winning team emerged.
Cristian Pletea continued to demonstrate his skillful game for Romania registering a brace of victories against Gerrit Engemann (11-9, 5-11, 11-13, 7-11) and Tobias Hippler (10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 4-11), but the end scoreline would end up in Germany’s favour.
Two defeats were suffered by Romanian player Rares Sipos, who lost out to Tobias Hippler (11-5, 15-13, 7-11, 11-5) and Gerrit Engemann (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 14-12) while Dragos Florin Opera was beaten in straight games by Cedric Meissner (11-3, 12-10, 11-7).
“I am satisfied with my service and receive game. In the beginning I was much to passive and I realised that I have to attack and play to the middle. We lost against Russia in the group stage, but we are playing the final of our dreams and we want to win!”, Gerrit Engemann.
Victories for Denis Ivonin, Artur Abusev and Lev Katsman resulted in Russian success in the other semi-finals encounter as the team edged to a 3-2 win against Sweden.
Simon Soderlund was left disappointed on two occasions in the match as Denis Ivonin (11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4) and Artur Abusev (11-3, 11-9, 11-7) both picked up positive results against the Swedish competitor.
Sweden’s chances were boosted by Truls Moregardh who emerged victorious in both of his fixtures, but the Swede’s brace wasn’t enough to stop Russia from reaching the final as Lev Katsman saw off Jonathan Thimon across five ends (7-11, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-4).
“I am so tired after the match. I am just happy that we reached the final!”, Artur Abusev.
The final sees Germany and Russia going head-to-head for the second time at the tournament, with the latter team prevailing in the group stage. But, could there be a different outcome when both sides clash in the final?
Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Monday 17th July