• European Team Championships 2008 • 

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TODAY in Amsterdam - Thu 1st, Day TWO
Germany gatecrash the semis

Day two saw the completion of the pool stages, with most of the expected teams making the semi-finals. The big exception was Germany, whose 2-2 draw with fourth seeds Wales - thanks to Simon Roesner's marathon win over Alex Gough - was enough to put them into the top four for the first time since 1996.

Germany are joined by champions England, hosts Holland and seven-time finalists France.

In the women's event 30-times winners England cruised through and will face France in the last four. The hosts will be there too, where they will face a resurgent Irish team.

Men Women
10.00 D   Wal 2-2 Ger
         D   Fin 2-2 Ita
         E   Iom 1-3 Por
         F   Rus 1-3 Srb

12.00 C  Fra 4-0 Irl
         C  Esp 3-1 Aut
         G  Gib 0-4 Slo
         H  Lat 1-3 Lux

15.00 F  Cze 4-0 Rus

16.00 E  Isr 4-0 Iom

17.00 A  Eng 4-0 Sco
         B  Ned 4-0 Swe
         B  Swi 4-0 Hun

19.00 A  Den 2-2 Bel
        G  Svk 4-0 Gib
        H  Ukr 3-1 Lat
10.00 D  Aut 3-0 Rus
         D  Ita 3-0 Ukr

13.00 C  Wal 3-0 Fin

14.00 A  Eng 3-0 Ger
         A  Irl 2-0 Esp
         D  Rus 3-0 Ukr
         D  Ita 2-1 Aut
         E  Cze 2-1 Swe
         E  Bel 3-0 Gre

19.00 B  Ned 3-0 Den
         B  Swi 0-3 Fra
         E  Bel 2-1 Cze
         E  Swe 3-0 Gre

Full Results Listing

Full results & playoff draws


Who says it's only a game

Crunch day for some

The playoff stages conclude today, with a few crunch matches coming up as the play-off draws are decided.

With just the top teams in pools A to D going through to the semi-finals, it's win or bust for the men.

You'd expect England to beat Scotland in pool A, and France to come through against Ireland in group C. Hosts Netherlands can be less sure about qualification as they face Sweden, but the real crunch match comes in pool D with fourth-seeded Wales meeting Germany, the fifth seeds.

In the women's event it's the top two of pools A and B who go through to the semis, and it's already looking like England v France and Netherlands v Ireland, barring any upsets today.
Meanwhile, teams will be jostling for favourable playoff positions, some just aiming to keep their places in the "premier divisions", others aiming for promotion next year. 
Day Two Highlights - Men

Men's A: England 4-0 Scotland
  James Willstrop 3-0 Alan Clyne                         9/5, 9/3, 9/0
  Peter Barker 3-0 Stuart Crawford                      9/3, 9/1, 9/2
  Lee Beachill 3-0 Alistair Gorrie                           9/1, 9/3, 9/0
  Joey Barrington 3-0 Lyall Patterson                    9/1, 9/2, 9/2

Men's B: Netherlands 4-0 Sweden
LJ Anjema 3-0 Badr Abdel Aziz                            9/2, 9/1, 9/1
Rene Mijs 1-2 Anders Thoren                 7/9, 9/7, 2/9, 9/4, 9/0
Tom Hoevenaars 3-0 Rasmus Hult                       9/5, 9/2, 9/5
Dylan Bennett 3-2 Christian Drakenberg 3/9, 3/9, 9/4, 9/4, 9/4

Top two through

Top seeds England and Netherlands claimed their expected semi-final places as they made it three wins out of three in their respective pools.

England - who rested Adrian Grant after his pair of 27-0 wins - eased past Scotland without dropping a game, tt was a little harder for the Dutch though. LJ Anjema and Tom Hoevenaars put the hosts 2-0 up easily enough, but Rene Mijs and Dylan Bennett had to fight back from 1-2 and 0-2 down respectively.

Bennett's encounter with Christian Drakenberg lasted 77 minutes,  and five-and-a-half of those passed before the first point was scored!

"It's so warm on that court! I was ok until 3-all in the first two games, but after that I never got a good dropshot or boast in, I just kept tinning it.

"From halfway through the third I found a better rhythm, I was taking less risks, and then it started paying off as my shots started going in.

"It was just down to patience in the end ..."

Men's D:
[4] Wales 2-2 [5] Germany
    Alex Gough 2-3 Simon Rosner    5/9, 8/10, 9/6, 9/2, 2/9
    Jethro Binns 1-3 Stefan Leifels            9/7, 4/9, 1/9, 7/9
    David Evans 3-0 Tim Weber                      9/5, 9/1, 9/1
    Rob Sutherland 3-0 Patrick Gaessler          9/7, 9/6, 9/3

Rosner rocks Wales

The first match on the showcourt was a real marathon, as Germany's Simon Rosner overcame Alex Gough in 97 minutes to end Wales' semi-final hopes.

Gough, who lost both of his matches yesterday, fell two behind but called upon his vast well of experience to draw level. But he ran out of gas in the fifth as the former European Junior Champion put his side two up, Stefan Leifels having already beaten Jetho Binns on the outside courts.

With Germany only dropping one tie in yesterday's matches compared to Wales' two, even wins from Evans and Sutherland wasn't enough to overhaul the Germans, who reach the semis for the first time since 1996.

"I was half asleep in the first two games and was really negative. I thought I'd got him after the fourth - he seemed really tired But all credit to him for coming back in the fifth."

"That's a big win for me. I've played Alex twice before and only taken one game off him, so to beat a player of his stature and experience in this event is just great.

"In the third he was just better than me - I made a couple of mistakes in the middle of the game and that gave him the impetus to in it. When he went 6/1 up in the fourth I let it go to concentrate on the fifth."

"I'm happy to win for myself, but more for the team to give us a chance to make the semi-finals for the first time in a long time ..."

Men's C: France 4-0 Ireland
    Gregory Gaultier 3-1 Liam Kenny             4/9, 9/1, 9/0, 9/6
    Julien Balbo 3-0 Niall Rooney                          9/1, 9/0, 9/4
    Renan Lavigne 3-0 Arthur Gaskin                    9/1, 9/5, 9/0
    Mathieu Castagnet 3-0 Steve Richardson         9/2, 9/0, 9/4

France ease into semis

Swapping Gregory Gaultier for Thierry Lincou at the top, France duly progressed to the semi-finals with a comfortable win over Ireland. Playing his first match since pulling up injured in the semi-finals in Kuwait, Gaultier started slowly, dropping the first game against Liam Kenny, but soon found his shots to run out a 3/1 winner.


Men's D: [12] Finland 2 [13] Italy 2

"In the end it's a good job I won both my matches yesterday, otherwise we wouldn't have finished third.

"So now we're in the 5/12 playoffs, hoping to improve our position for next year."

Men's F: Serbia beat Russia 3-1

Men's H: Luxembourg 3-1 Latvia

Lëtzebuerg do it again

Bottom seeds Luxemboug - appearing in the competition after an 11-year absence, scored their second consecutive victory a the defeated Latvia 3-1.

Leading 2-1, it was left to Daniel Hutchines (who apparently plays much better when there's a photographer as courtside!) to wrap up the victory, winning 10/8, 9/2, 9/2.

"We thought we might ha a chance of progressing from this group, but we didn't know the other teams so had no real idea. As it turned out they're no mugs, so to come away with two 3/1 wins is a fantastic result for us.

"It will be tough in the next round, the 13-20 playoffs, but if we can sneak a win in the 17-20 shakeout that will still be a great achievement for us.

"We're a bit of a mixed bunch - our coach and number one is a Kiwi, we have two Englishmen born in Luxembourg, a French and a Dutch but we've got a great team spirit"

Day Two Highlights - Women

Women's B:
France 3-0 Switzerland  Netherlands 3-0 Denmark

Dutch & French clinch
semi-final places

The women's semi-final lineups were completed as France and hosts Holland topped group B with straightforward wins over Switzerland and Denmark.


Women's A: Ireland 3-0 Spain,   England 3-0 Germany

Irish march into semis

Ireland's women beat comfortable beat Spain to secure their spot in the semi-finals, almost certainly against hosts Holland.

England continued their winning ways, with Vicky Botwright erasing memories of yesterday's defeat

"The girls have all played well so far, and we must have a chance against Holland in he semis - Madeline's playing really well, and Aisling trains with Annelize here so knows the courts and her opponent's game well."

Irish women's team manager

Women's D: Italy 3-0 Ukraine  (81-0)

It's their first time in the European Teams - "and it's the first competition I've ever played in," said one of the Ukraine players..

They didn't make much impression on Italy, who were resting their number one, but all three girls enjoyed their matches, and are looking forward to getting a few points come the playoffs ...

Women's D: Italy 2-1 Austria
  Sonia Pasteris 2-3 Pamela Pancis    9/7, 9/6, 0/9, 6/9, 7/9
  Manuela Manetta 3-0 Birgit Coufal                9/2, 9/2, 9/7
  Veronica Favero 3-0 Theresa Gradnitzer       9/2, 9/3, 9/3

Another five for Pamela

One of the veterans of the championships appearing for a 19th time, Pamela Pancis pulled out a tremendous comeback to put Austria into the lead against Italy. She needed some running repairs after the match on a blister on her racket hand .... ouch!

Last laugh was with the Italians though, as Manuela Manetta and Veronica Favero came through to seal the win.

"My first appearance was in 1989 in Helsinki and I've only missed one since.

"I've had a lot of five-setters in that time - one year every match went to five, and after the last one someone just touched me and I fell over!"

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