21 Jul 2017

Russia continues to enjoy a strong campaign at the Stag 2017 European Youth Championships in Guimarães, after the country's representatives guaranteed medals in both the Junior Mixed Doubles and Cadet Mixed Doubles competitions on Friday 21st July.

by Simon Daish

Third seeds Denis Ivonin and Mariia Tailakova were one of the Russian pairings to succeed in the Junior Mixed Doubles quarter-finals, emerging victorious against the mixed nationality combination of Carlo Rossi and Sabina Surjan.

Italy’s Carlo Rossi and his Serbian partner Sabina Surjan put up a brave fight and managed to register a game win on the scoreboard, but the 16th seeded team couldn’t prevent their Russian opponents from sealing a spot on the medals podium (11-9, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10).

“In the previous round we were not as good as today. In this match we finally settled into a rhythm together. Carlo was more dangerous then Sabina so we had to attack him, block his forehand and play the ball short”, Mariia Tailakova.

Standing in between the third seeds and a place in the final is the Romanian duo of Cristian Pletea and Adina Diaconu after the top seeds successfully held off challengers Yang Xinyu and Deng Simeng of Azerbaijan (11-5, 13-11, 11-4), and following the conclusion of the tie Pletea was relieved to have picked up the win.

“Before the match we did not know what to expect from them. We tried to play to the middle and forehand, since they are really strong at the backhand. The second game was 13-11… We halted them in time!”, Cristian Pletea.

Nikita Artemenko and Anna Krasikova are the other Russian team to move through to the Junior Mixed Doubles semi-finals, where they will face French rivals Jules Rolland and Lucie Gauthier.

Hopes of a medal for the host nation have been shattered in the Cadet Mixed Doubles event, with Portugal’s Tiago Li and his Lithuanian partner Kornelija Riliskyte exiting the competition at the quarter-finals stage.

Despite establishing the early lead in the tie Tiago Li and Kornelija Riliskyte struggled to push on, and three consecutive game wins for Sweden’s Martin Friis and Rebecca Muskantor left the home fans disappointed (11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 6-11).

“In the beginning we were playing on Tiago’s backhand and he is very strong there. We changed it in the second game and took the control of the match”, Rebecca Muskantor.

Vladimir Sidorenko and Ekaterina Zironova will provide the opposition for Martin Friis and Rebecca Muskantor in the penultimate round, while Russia’s second combination in the Cadet Mixed Doubles last four Vladislav Makarov and Natalia Malinina face Daniel Rinderer and Anastasia Bondareva of Germany.

Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Friday 21st July

2017 Stag European Youth Championships Cristian Pletea Adina Diaconu Mariia Tailakova Denis Ivonin Martin Friis Rebecca Muskantor

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