17 Jul 2018

Azerbaijan, Denmark and Switzerland, all outfits who started proceedings in “Level Two” in the Junior Boys’ Team event at the Stag 2018 European Youth Championships and thus outside the top 16 names, upset the odds in the play-off round to reserve main draw places on Tuesday 17th July.

The round involves teams from “Level One” who finished in third or fourth positions in their respective groups or experienced defeat in the first play-off round alongside outfits who secured first places in the “Level Two” groups.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Man of the moment was Pedro Osiro, lining up alongside Dorian Girod and Barish Moullet in opposition to Turkey’s Umut Emre Bassan, Bilal Selim Tok and Tugay Yilmaz, he proved the backbone of Swiss success.

He beat Tugay Yilmaz (11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6) before in the vital concluding match of the fixture, accounting for Bilal Selim Tok (11-3, 13-15, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10); the one further Swiss win was secured by Dorian Girod. In the fourth match of the engagement, the duel that with the benefit of hindsight proved pivotal, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Tugay Yilmaz by the very narrowest of decisions (9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10).

A thrilling win for Switzerland, for Azerbaijan and Denmark, life was less dramatic.

Represented by Wang Chenxi, Yang Xinyu and Yu Khinhang; Azerbaijan recorded a three-nil win against Slovenia’s Matija Novel, Rok Trtnik and Taj Lavric. In a similar manner Denmark’s Thor Christensen, Daniel Simonsen and Peter Svenningen overcame Croatia’s Aleks Krstevski, Maro Banek and Jakov Tica.

Croatia, Turkey and Slovenia had finished in fourth positions in their initial phase group.

Otherwise, it was the “Level One” teams who prevailed but there was a close call; the Spanish trio comprising Alberto Lillo, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Marc Gutierrez, needed the full five matches to overcome Serbia’s Nemanja Dilas, Dimitrije Levajac and Nemanja Dilas. Thorn in the side of Spain was Dimitrije Levajac; he beat both Alberto Lillo (11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4) and Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-6, 11-3, 11-6).

In addition to Azerbaijan, Denmark, Switzerland and Spain, Czech Republic and Greece also emerged successful in the play-off round; they now join France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden in the main draw.

2018 STAG European Youth Championships Pedro Osiro

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