11 Nov 2021

The GAZPROM 2021 European Under 21 Championships officially commenced on Wednesday 10th November as some of the most exciting up-and-coming names from the continent arrived in Spa, Belgium.

by Simon Daish

Belgium’s very own Nicolas Degros was handed an early setback in Men’s Singles Group 1 after losing out to France’s Leo De Nodrest (14-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3). However, back-to-back victories over Austria’s Jonas Promberger (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3) and Switzerland’s Dorian Girod (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) completed a successful turnaround for Degros who moves on to fight another day.

There was further positive news for the host nation as Adrien Rassenfosse and Olav Kosolosky also emerged as group runners-up. Rassenfosse registered four games without reply to beat Poland’s Maciej Kubik (11-9, 11-7, 11-5, 13-11) and Czech Republic’s Radim Bako (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7) in Group 5. Meanwhile, Kosolosky accounted for Kosovo’s Fatih Karabaxhak (11-2, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7) and Montenegro’s Filip Radulovic (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8), finishing second only to Norway’s Borgar Haug in Group 11.

In addition to France’s Leo De Nodrest, Italy’s Carlo Rossi and Norway’s Borgar Haug, the other group winners were: Russia’s Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman, Moldova’s Vladislav Ursu, Croatia’s Ivor Ban, Spain’s Alberto Lillo, Slovakia’s Jakub Zelinka, France’s Irvin Bertrand, Ukraine’s Anton Limonov, and Italy’s Matteo Mutti.

Anna Wegrzyn makes her presence known on fascinating opening day (Photo: ETTU)

Poland’s Anna and Katarzyna Wegrzyn enjoyed strong starts to their campaigns in the Women’s Singles race with both players topping their respective groups.

Starting out with a straight games win against Belgium’s Natacha Koszulap (11-6, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3), Anna Wegrzyn secured her status as Group 1 winner with subsequent 4-1 victories over Sweden’s Alma Roose (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9) and Estonia’s Vitalia Reinol (11-3, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-1). In Group 5, Katarzyna Wegrzyn was untroubled by Bulgarian and Estonian counterparts Kalina Hristova (11-6, 11-9, 11-4, 11-5) and Alina Jagnenkova (11-1, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7), while Romania’s Elena Zaharia also struggled to lay a finger on the Polish star (11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4).

Another player with high expectations heading to Spa, Elizabet Abraamian navigated her group with three wins. The Russian needed just four games to see off Sweden’s Rebecca Muskantor (11-8, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7) and Hungary’s Helga Dari (11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6), but was made to work against Darya Kisel with the Belarusian forcing Abraamian right down to the wire (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4).

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Anastasiya Dymytrenko, Germany’s Annett Kaufmann and Franziska Schreiner, France’s Camille Lutz and Leila Mostafavi, Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova, Sweden’s Nomin Baasan, Croatia’s Hana Arapovic, and Turkey’s Gul Pembe Ozkaya also emerged as group winners.

For event details for the 2021 European Under 21 Championships click here.

General News Anna Wegrzyn Nicolas Degros