06 Mar 2020

Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Frenchman Bastien Rembert, the respective top two seeds, ended the day, Thursday 5th March, unbeaten in the men’s singles event at the 2020 European Under 21 Championships in Varazdin; similarly in the women’s singles, Romania’s Andreea Dragoman and Adina Diaconu, the two most prominent names, enjoyed a day without defeat.

However, for the other leading names there were troubled times.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The top eight names entered proceedings in the second stage; in each discipline they were joined by the 24 players who had finished in first and second positions in the initial phase groups.

Thus there were eight groups, four players in each group, first and second in each group advance to the third element where matters are conducted on a knock-out basis.

Prominent casualties

In the men’s singles event, Rares Sipos, the no.3 seed, followed by Frenchman Jules Rolland, Belgium’s Florian Cnudde and Laurens Devos all experienced defeats as did Russia’s Denis Ivonin and Romania’s Cristian Pletea.

Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica proved the nemesis of Rares Sipos (18-16, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6), Hungary’s Csaba Andras overcame Jules Rolland (9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9), Frenchman Irvin Bertrand accounted for Florian Cnudde (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 12-10).

Irvin Bertrand beat Florian Cnudde (Photo: Martin Novosel)


Likewise, Russia’s Lev Katsman beat Laurens Devos (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 9-11, 15-13), colleague Artur Abusev defeated Cristian Pletea (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8).

One common factor, the player who caused the upsets ended the day unbeaten; for the celebrated names it was their only defeat of the day. The one exception was Denis Ivonin, he lost to both Germany’s Meng Fanbo (12-10, 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7) and Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11).  Two defeats for Denis Ivonin, it is the end of the road, Meng Fanbo and Ioannis Sgouropoulos both remained unbeaten; they now meet to decide first place.

Host of upsets

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.3 seed, lost to Prithika Pavade of France (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 13-11), Belgium’s Lisa Lung, the no.4 seed, was beaten by Sweden’s Christina Källberg (11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7), Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.5 seed, experienced defeat when facing Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic (12-10, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9)

In a similar manner Russia’s Anastasia Kolish, the no.6 seed, found Romania’s Elena Zaharia very much in form, a close seven games defeat was the outcome (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-9).

However, as with the men, just one defeat for the highly rated seeds, the players to cause the upsets remaining unbeaten; thus for both the door to the round of the last 16 is open.

Elena Zaharia overcame Anastasia Kolish (Photo: Martin Novosel)


Rather differently for Slovenia’s Ana Tofant, the no.7 seed, the future is not bright; she lost to Slovakia’s Ema Labosova (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7) and now meets Germany’s Yuki Tsutsui in the match that decides her fate. Notably Yuki Tsutsui remains the only unbeaten player in the group; she accounted for Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz (11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5), followed by success in opposition to Ema Labosova (11-0, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).

Alas for Spain’s Ana Garcia, the no.8 seed, all hope has gone. She lost to both Camille Lutz of France (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-2) and Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn (11-3, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8). Camille Lutz and Anna Wegrzyn now meet to determine first place.

Second seeds fall

Surprises, there was also a surprise in the mixed doubles, in the second round Turkey’s Artur Grela and Ozge Yilmaz beat Rares Sipos and Andreea Dragoman, the no.2 seeds (5-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Artur Grela (foreground) and Julia Slazak caused a major second round mixed doubles upset (Photo: Martin Novosel)


Problems for the second seeds, for the top seeds, Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova it was progress, as it was for the next on the list Cristian Pletea and Adina Diaconu alongside Laurens Devos and Lisa Lung.

The leading pairs in the men’s doubles and women’s doubles events have yet to start their campaigns.

2020 European Under 21 Championships Andreea Dragoman

No results found.