Utrecht has once again shown why it’s the home of King of the Court. On the first night CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022 was played inside the BetCity Arena it was shaking on its foundation. The crowd was treated to some of the best plays this format has to offer, with the reigning Kings of Utrecht as the pinnacle: David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig picked things up where they left them last year and cruised to victory and a first golden ball.
The day started with qualification matches on the side court, four teams secured a spot for the Main Draw. In the men’s tournament England’s Freddie Bialokoz and Issa Batrane and Norwegians Markus Mol and Svein Solhaug claimed their place. On the women’s side Estonian Heleene Hollas and Liisa Soomets beat youngsters Windeleff/Bisgaard (DEN), who went through to the Group Stage as lucky losers, after Isabel Schneider and Sandra Ittlinger had to withdraw. Ukranian Valentina Davidova and Ievgeniia Baieva completed the forty teams in the Main Draw.
With all teams known for the Group Stage the first two sessions were played inside the big stadium on the Jaarbeursplein. A big shock in the first match as reigning Queen Maria Belén Carro was ousted in the first round. She’ll have another chance on Thursday evening in the play-off to prolong her stay with Sofia González. Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli claimed their first golden ball, they won their pool, and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Dutchies Katja Stam and Raïsa Schoon also were on top of their group, they were responsible for a big roar going through the Arena. European champion Anastsija Kravcenoka will have to go to the play-off on Thursday, she and her partner Daniela Konstantinova lost in the first round. The Ukranian Makhno twins showed great form as well, they proved they belong in the Main Draw of Queen of the Court.
King of the Court first-timer Youssef Krou had a great premiere, winning all rounds of his group together with Arnaud Gauthier-Rat against silver medalists from Hamburg Nõlvak/Tiisaar and Dutchies Varenhorst/Penninga as strong competitors. In the final match of the day 2021 Kings Åhman and Hellvig showed their dominance by scoring a total of 50 points over three rounds, beating Hamburg King Clemens Wickler and Benedikt Sagstetter.
You can rewatch all of Wednesday’s matches here, and check out the full results here.
Kravcenoka will become Samoilova
Anastasija Kravcenoka and partner Daniela Konstantinova sat down with commentator Lewie Lett to preview the tournament. Anastasija got married last week to Mihails Samoilovs, the Lion cub. She announced that she will be known as Samoilova very soon. Check out the full interview below.
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