Three unbeaten as Youth Top 10 hots up

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Three athletes remain unbeaten after day two of the Europe Youth Top 10 in Worcester.

European Junior champion Ioannis Sgouropoulos leads the small club of those with six out of six, with the other members Sophia Klee of Germany in the Cadet Girls and Bilal Hamache of France in the Cadet Boys.

Despite some good performances and near misses, there has yet to be an English winner.

Three more rounds of matches remain on Sunday before the champions will be crowned.

Click here to visit the event website, for all the results, schedule and live scoring on Sunday.

All photos by Alan Man – click here to see more photos from day two

Junior Boys

Ioannis Sgouropoulos is in position to add the Europe Youth Top 10 title to his European Junior championship, having maintained his unbeaten record.

The Greek No 2 seed leads the way, one win ahead of top seed Cristian Pletea of Romania – the pair meet in the final round on Sunday evening.

Sgouropoulos had the first big test of his credentials in round four and survived, the Greek second seed coming from 2-0 and 3-2 down to defeat Italy’s Matteo Mutti, ranked ninth.

Josh Bennett had held his own against some of the top seeds yesterday, and hopes were raised of him putting a win on the board when he took the first game Bastien Rembert, the French eighth seed.

But Rembert, who beat Pletea on day one, quickly shut the door to rattle off the next four games.

Pletea had early troubles against Gerrit Engemann of Germany, twice trailing the seventh seed before coming back to win 4-2.

Romanian third seed Rares Sipos had a more permanent problem with German opposition as No 5 Tobias Hippler beat him 4-1.

Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, unbeaten on day one, did not remain that way as fourth seed Irvin Bertrand of France beat him 4-1, kick-starting his own campaign after one win yesterday.

Ioannis Sgouropoulos

Cnudde’s next task was to try to get something out of Sgouropoulos, which he could not manage as he was on the wrong end of a pretty emphatic 4-0 scoreline.

Bertrand, meanwhile, followed up with a 4-0 scoreline of his own against Sipos, who is enduring a tournament to forget.

There was a first victory for Engemann, who took down Rembert in six, while Pletea needed five to get the better of Mutti.

Bennett was once again very much in his match, coming from 2-0 down to level against Hippler. But he was unable to build on taking the fourth 11-2 as his opponent struck back to win it 4-2.

Sgouropoulos put a big tick in the box against Sipos, who was aiming to do his countryman Pletea a big favour by beating the Greek in round six.

The third seed led 2-0 and then levelled at 3-3 after the Greek player had won three on the spin, but Sgouropoulos stayed strong to take the decider 11-8.

Pletea was in no mood to mess about against Cnudde, winning 4-0 in short order and remains in second place.

Bennett went in front against Bertrand but lost 4-1, it was the same score in favour of Hippler against Rembert and, in the last match to finish, Engemann shaded a tight encounter with Mutti 12-10 in the decider.

All of which moved Hippler and Bertrand into joint third going into the final day.

Junior Girls

Three girls lead the way on five wins apiece – top seed Adina Diaconu of Romania, fourth seed Lisa Lung from Belgium and the Russian fifth seed, Anastasia Kolish.

Germany’s Jennie Wolf won all three matches on the day and the No 9 seed has propelled herself into medal contention, one win behind the leaders.

The only girl left with a 100% record from day one was Diaconu, and the Romanian had to dig deep to keep hold of it in the face of a concerted attack from Spain’s Zhang Xuan.

The sixth seed blitzed into a 2-0 and 3-1 lead, only for Diaconu to find her range and take the next three.

An even more monumental comeback was staged by Wolf, who notched her second victory by defeating third seed Izabela Lupulesku (Serbia).

It looked an unlikely scenario when she lost the first 11-1 and then trailed 3-0, but she turned it around in fine style.

England’s Denise Payet was unable to get a set on the board against Romania’s second seed Andreea Dragoman, while Kolish defeated Romania’s Tania Plaian (No 8) 4-0 and Lung overcame Luisa Saeger (Germany, 7) 4-1.

Adina Diaconu

Round five saw Wolf take the confidence of her win into her clash with top seed Diaconu, earning a surprise 4-2 victory which closed up the leaderboard – Diaconu having to share first place with Lung and Kolish, with three more girls one win behind.

Kolish put up a straightforward 4-0 victory over second seed Dragoman to leave herself firmly in the medal hunt. Lung’s 4-0 win against Plaian was almost as comprehensive, save for the 17-15 scoreline in the fourth,

Lupulesku overcame Saeger 4-1 and Payet got her first set on the board, taking the lead against Zhang and pushing hard in the second. But a 14-12 defeat set the tone for the rest of the match as she lost 4-1.

Plaian got herself off the mark in round six with a 4-2 triumph against Lupulesku, while Wolf consolidated her surprise push for the medals from No 9 seeding with a 4-3 victory over Zhang, in which she was never behind.

Kolish and Diaconu kept their places at the top of the leaderboard with victories over Payet (4-0) and Saeger (4-1) respectively.

Lung had more of a battle to maintain her position, always leading against Dragoman but being pegged back to 2-2 and 3-3 before taking the last 11-2.

Cadet Boys

France’s Bilal Hamache leads the way with six from six, but only after the No 1 seed overturned a 3-0 deficit in the final match of the day against Olav Kosolosky of Belgium.

Behind Hamache, Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki and Csaba Andras of Hungary have five wins, with four each to Dorian Zheng of France and Kay Stumper of Germany.

Bilal Hamache

Two 100% records from day one came under severe examination in round four and both remained intact.

The biggest potential crisis faced Andras, who trailed 2-0 and 3-2 to Martin Friis, the seventh-ranked Swedish player before pulling through 11-4 in the seventh. Meanwhile, Kulczycki, seeded five, shook off Jules Cavaille, the French No 9, also in seven.

Stumper, seeded two, impressed with a four-game demolition of Kosolosky, ranked at six, while Hamache dropped one set to England’s Ethan Walsh. The all-Germany clash between Zheng (#4) and Daniel Rinderer (#8) was won 4-2 by the former.

Round five saw Andras’ unbeaten record ended in a seven-game thriller by Kosolosky, in which the first five games went to a minimum of 11-9 and the victory saw his opponent recover from 2-0 and 3-2 down to level. In the end, the Belgian took it 4-3 (14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 15-13, 4-11, 11-7) – a result which left Hamache out on his own in first place with five wins.

Csaba Andras

Hamache did have to avert a minor crisis before earning that fifth win as Friis took the first two games against him. But after edging the third 11-9, the No 1 seed was never seriously threatened and won 4-2.

There were 4-0 wins for Rinderer against Walsh and Zheng against Kulczycki – the first defeat inflicted on the Pole – while Stumper came from 2-1 down to overcome Cavaille 4-2.

Round six saw Hamache up against a more sizeable crisis as he trailed 3-0 to Kosolosky, yet the No 1 seed found a way back to win it in seven and preserve his 100% record.

Walsh came close to breaking his and England’s duck, leading 2-0 against Friis and having chances in subsequent games before being edged out 4-2 (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9). A 60-59 win on points a crumb of comfort, perhaps.

Zheng was turning himself into a medal contender with his third win of the day and fourth overall, overcoming second seed Stumper, while Kulczycki bounced back from his reverse in round five to defeat Rinderer. Andras also rediscovered the winning formula by beating Cavaille, leaving five athletes in the shake-up for the medals.

Cadet Girls

The gold medal is Sophia Klee’s to lose as the German fourth seed remains unbeaten, her six wins putting her two clear of the rest of the field.

Three girls – second seed Jamila Laurenti, fifth seed Isa Cok and seventh seed Ozge Yilmaz are locked in joint second, while top seed Elena Zaharia languishes in eighth.

Sophia Klee

The day started with hopes of a first English victory when Charlotte Bardsley took the first two games against Cok. However, the third, which went 13-11 in favour of the French girl, tipped the balance and Cok was able to claim a 4-2 victory.

The troubles continued for Zaharia of Romania, who lost two matches on day one and who started the second day with a 4-1 reverse at the hands of Anastasia Bondareva of Germany.

Fourth seed Klee defeated Lou Frete of France 4-1 to register her fourth win, and it was 4/4 to Laurenti of Italy as well, overcoming Germany’s Wenna Tu 4-0.

But another unbeaten record fell – that of Camille Lutz of France, who led Yilmaz 3-2 but saw her Turkish opponent win the next two.

There was a major upset in round five as winless Frete got off the mark in spectacular style with a 4-2 win over unbeaten second seed Laurenti. As a result, Klee put herself into the outright lead by defeating Cok 4-1.

Lutz’s bad day continued as she was beaten in six by Bondareva, while Zaharia’s tournament went from bad to worse as she went down in a decider to Tu.

Bardsley went in front again, against Yilmaz, but the match hinged on a tight fourth when, trailing 2-1 in games, Bardsley missed a game point and saw her opponent take it 13-11 and go on to win 4-1 overall.

Isa Cok

Klee rubber-stamped her position at the top with a comfortable 4-0 score against Bardsley in round six, and Laurenti’s second successive defeat ensures there is breathing space, with Klee two wins ahead of the chasing pack – though she will have to play the top three seeds on Sunday.

Laurenti’s victor was Cok, who arrived back at the table in tears for game two, the result of a loud dressing-down by the coach after losing the first 11-3 – an action which raised more than a few eyebrows as it could be heard by the whole field of play and all the spectators. Still, Cok composed herself to win the next three and eventually took the match 4-2.

Tu made it three losses on the day for Lutz, by a 4-2 margin; there was some relief for Zaharia with a 4-0 win over Frete and it was the same score for Yilmaz against Bondareva.

Today’s results

Cadet Girls
Round 4
T1 Isa Cok (FRA) bt Charlotte Bardsley (ENG) 4-2 (7-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9)
T2 Anastasia Bondareva (GER) bt Elena Zaharia (ROU) 4-1 (11-8, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8)
T3 Jamila Laurenti (ITA) bt Wenna Tu (GER) 4-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 16-14)
T4 Sophia Klee (GER) bt Lou Frete (FRA) 4-1 (11-8, 11-3, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5)
T5 Ozge Yilmaz (TUR) bt Camille Lutz (FRA) 4-3 (6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8)

Round 5
T1 Tu bt Zaharia 4-3 (8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 8-11, 11-4, 7-11)
T2 Klee bt Cok 4-1 (11-5, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-5)
T3 Bondareva bt Lutz 4-2 (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11)
T4 Yilmaz bt Bardsley 4-1 (11-13, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3)
T5 Frete bt Laurenti 4-2 (11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10)

Round 6
T1 Yilmaz bt Bondareva 4-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7)
T2 Cok bt Laurenti 4-2 (3-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-4)
T3 Zaharia bt Frete 4-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-4, 11-2)
T4 Tu bt Lutz 4-2 (11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9)
T5 Klee bt Bardsley 4-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8)

Cadet Boys
Round 4
T1 Dorian Zheng (GER) bt Daniel Rinderer (GER) 4-2 (12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5)
T2 Csaba Andras (HUN) bt Martin Friis (SWE) 4-3 (8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4)
T3 Kay Stumper (GER) bt Olav Kosolosky (BEL) 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8)
T4 Samuel Kulczycki (POL) bt Jules Cavaille (FRA) 4-3 (11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6)
T5 Bilal Hamache (FRA) bt Ethan Walsh (ENG) 4-1 (11-4, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5)

Round 5
T1 Kosolosky bt Andras 4-3 (14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 15-13, 4-11, 11-7)
T2 Rinderer bt Walsh 4-0 (11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 11-3)
T3 Hamache bt Friis 4-2 (5-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5)
T4 Stumper bt Cavaille 4-2 (11-6, 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5)
T5 Zheng bt Kulczycki 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9)

Round 6
T1 Friis bt Walsh 4-2 (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9)
T2 Zheng bt Stumper 4-2 (11-5, 11-4, 2-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-4)
T3 Andras bt Cavaille 4-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9)
T4 Hamache bt Kosolosky 4-3 (9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7)
T5 Kulczycki bt Rinderer 4-1 (5-11, 11-4, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11)

Junior Girls
Round 4
T1 Andreea Dragoman (ROU) bt Denise Payet (ENG) 4-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9)
T2 Jennie Wolf (GER) v Izabela Lupulesku (SRB) 4-3 (1-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3)
T3 Lisa Lung (BEL) bt Luisa Saeger (GER) 4-1 (12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8)
T4 Anastasia Kolish (RUS) bt Tania Plaian (ROU) 4-0 (12-10, 11-2, 11-7, 19-17)
T5 Adina Diaconu (ROU) bt Zhang Xuan (ESP) 4-3 (9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8)

Round 5
T1 Lupulesku bt Saeger 4-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8)
T2 Zhang bt Payet 4-1 (7-11, 14-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9)
T3 Wolf bt Diaconu 4-2 (11-13, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9)
T4 Lung bt Plaian 4-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-8, 17-15)
T5 Kolish bt Dragoman 4-0 (11-5, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7)

Round 6
T1 Lung bt Dragoman 4-3 (13-11, 11-6, 10-12, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2)
T2 Wolf bt Zhang 4-3 (11-7, 11-5, 4-11, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8)
T3 Plaian bt Lupulesku 4-2 (11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8)
T4 Kolish bt Payet 4-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5)
T5 Diaconu bt Saeger 4-1 (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6)

Junior Boys
Round 4
T1 Bastien Rembert (FRA) bt Josh Bennett (ENG) 4-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4)
T2 Ioannis Sgouropoulos (GRE) bt Matteo Mutti (ITA) 4-3 (5-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8)
T3 Irvin Bertrand (FRA) bt Florian Cnudde (BEL) 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6, 11-9)
T4 Cristian Pletea (ROU) bt Gerrit Engemann (GER) 4-2 (6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5)
T5 Tobias Hippler (GER) bt Rares Sipos (ROU) 4-1 (13-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8)

Round 5
T1 Sgouropoulos bt Cnudde 4-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6)
T2 Engemann bt Rembert 4-2 (11-9, 5-11, 14-12, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7)
T3 Pletea bt Mutti 4-1 (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10)
T4 Bertrand bt Sipos 4-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3)
T5 Hippler bt Bennett 4-2 (11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 2-11, 11-4, 11-6)

Round 6
T1 Bertrand bt Bennett 4-1 (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5)
T2 Engemann bt Mutti 4-3 (6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 13-11, 12-10)
T3 Sgouropoulos bt Sipos 4-3 (9-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8)
T4 Pletea bt Cnudde 4-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6)
T5 Hippler bt Rembert 4-1 (11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7)

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