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Swiss girls hand England surprise defeat

Olympic hosts England failed to qualify for the Uber Cup Finals after suffering a shock 3-2 loss to Switzerland in Group 6 at the European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships in Amsterdam on Thursday.

The tournament, which doubles up as qualifiers to the Thomas and Uber Cups – which will be held simultaneously in Wuhan, China, from May 20-27.

England and Switzerland had won their earlier matches against Scotland and Italy and their match-up was to decide who would progress to the quarter-finals and stay in the hunt for the ticket to China.

As it was, Switzerland’s strength in the singles department put paid to England’s chances of advancing as Jeanine Cicognini, Sabrina Jaquet and Nicole Schaller won their matches to seal victory for the Swiss.

Cicognini started the ball rolling for Switzerland when she defeated Nicola Cerfontyne 21-14, 21-12 in just 29 minutes. Her doubles partner Jaquet then had to overcome a first game deficit before getting the better of Sarah walker to make it 2-0. Jaquet won 20-22, 21-19, 21-17 in 57 minutes

The format of play obviously favoured the Swiss, who had the advantage in the singles as the English girls are much stronger in the doubles. And so it proved when Mariana Agathangelou-Heather Olver (below), pulled a point back by beating Marion Gruber-Sanya Herzig 21-7, 21-8 in just 21 minutes in the first doubles.

Nicole Schaller (above), however, capped a memorable day for Switzerland when she defeated Kate Robertshaw 21-15, 21-13 to seal the win for her country while Cicognini- Jaquet retired from their doubles match against Jenny Wallwork-Gabrielle White without a point being scored to make the final score 3-2.

Switzerland will now face Holland in the quarter-finals. The other quarter-final match ups will see top seeds Denmark facing Ukraine, Russia taking on Bulgaria and Germany meeting France.

There were no upsets in the men’s event with all the top eight seeds easily reaching the quarter-finals which will see Denmark facing Poland, England meeting Ukraine, France challenging Russia and Holland taking on Germany.

For full results, click here.

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