by Simon Daish
Travelling to the Italian city of Bolzano for an away fixture, all three members of the Croatian line-up contributed a win with Petra Patek’s straight games success over Giorgia Piccolin (11-9, 11-9, 11-6) sealing a 2-3 victory for the visitors.
Scenes of celebration for the Croatian team on its travels and the theme was constant throughout the round as no side in Group A competing at home proved able to avoid defeat.
In Loja, Granada spectators witnessed a setback for hosts Spain with a brace of wins from Hana Matelova against Galia Dvorak (7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3) and Mario Xiao (11-5, 11-7, 11-8) helping the Czech Republic to a 1-3 triumph while a standout performance from Fu Yu produced a similar outcome for Portugal in its tie with Switzerland.
Team Ukraine’s qualification credentials are looking healthy after the squad of Ganna Gaponova, Margaryta Pesotska and Solomiya Brateyko breezed to a comfortable away victory in Slovenia with Luxembourg also getting a win on the board at the expense of Azerbaijan. The other Group A tie saw Sweden earn a second consecutive win as opponents Belarus fell to a 0-3 loss.
Moving on to Group B Estonia put the disappointments of its opening qualification match behind them, beating Denmark by a noteworthy 3-0 score-line. Nicole Trosman guided Israel to an important win on its trip to Finland while the Slovak Republic, Bulgaria and Greece also came away from their respective matches with success stories.