England Already Certain of European Finalists in Malmo

21 Mar 05

With the quarter-finals of the 16th European Junior U19 Championships now completed, England is already guaranteed a finalist in both the men's and women's events at the Bellevuestadion in Malmo, Sweden.

Men's favourite Chris Simpson will meet fellow Englishman James Wright, a 3/4 seed, in the semi-finals after both scored quarter-final victories over 5/8 seeds - Sussex-based Simpson beating Rik Smet 10-8 9-2 9-5 in a repeat of his win over the Belgian at the same stage of the event last year, and Wright, from Leicester, overcoming German Jens Schoor 9-2 9-4 5-9 9-2.

Tom Richards claimed an unexpected additional semi-final berth for England when he knocked out last year's runner-up Mathieu Castagnet. Richards, a 5/8 seed from Surrey, defeated the 3/4 seed from France 9-7 9-10 9-7 9-0 to set up a last four clash with second seed Simon Rosner, the German he beat in last year's quarter-finals. Wurzburg-born Rosner, aged 17, beat 9/16 seed Shaun le Roux, also an Englishman, 9-7 5-9 3-9 9-7 9-0.

There will also be three England players in the women's semi-finals - but defending champion Charlie de Rycke put paid to an all-English line-up by beating 9/16 seed Deon Saffery 9-2 9-3 9-3. The top-seeded Belgian will face England's Rachel Willmott for a place in her second successive final. Willmott, the 16-year-old 5/8 seed from Sussex who lost to de Rycke in the 2004 quarter-finals, upset France's 3/4 seed Celia Allamargot 9-7 9-7 9-2.

The other all-English semi-final will feature second seed Jenna Gates, the British Junior champion, and surprise candidate Fiona Moverley, a 5/8 seed. Gates beat Germany's Sandra Krueger 9-3 10-8 9-1, and - by a remarkably similar scoreline - Moverley despatched another German Pamela Hathway 9-4 10-8 9-6.

Men's Quarter-finals:
[1] Chris Simpson (ENG) bt [5/8] Rik Smet (BEL) 10-8, 9-2, 9-5
[3/4] James Wright (ENG) bt [5/8] Jens Schoor (GER) 9-2, 9-4, 5-9, 9-2
[5/8] Tom Richards (ENG) bt [3/4] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 9-7, 9-10, 9-7, 9-0
[2] Simon Rosner (GER) bt [9/16] Shaun le Roux (ENG) 9-7, 5-9, 3-9, 9-7, 9-0

Women's Quarter-finals:
[1] Charlie de Rycke (BEL) bt [9/16] Deon Saffery (ENG) 9-2, 9-3, 9-3
[5/8] Rachel Willmott (ENG) bt [3/4] Celia Allamargot (FRA) 9-7, 9-7, 9-2
[5/8] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [9/16] Pamela Hathway (GER) 9-4, 10-8, 9-6
[2] Jenna Gates (ENG) bt [5/8] Sandra Krueger (GER) 9-3, 10-8, 9-1