Kyiv: Denmark almost swept into all four men’s singles semi-final spots at the 2021 European Championships on Friday as the third-seeded Rasmus Gemke was humbled by World No. 80 Kalle Koljonen of Finland in the biggest upset of the day in the men’s singles event.
The World No. 12 Gemke was trailing the whole first game, losing 15-21 to Koljonen. Koljonen put up a spirited challenge in the second set, coming back from 5-11 by reeling off 4 consecutive points when he was down 17-19 to wrap up the second set 21-19. He will play No. 1 seed Viktor Axelsen on Saturday.
Axelsen who is looking for his third European Championships title, played two solid games to down No. 8 seed Thomas Rouxel of France 21-14, 21-15 in 46 minutes.
Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Anders Antonsen and No. 4 seed Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus were headlining the bottom half of the men’s competition. Antonsen needed only 40 minutes to beat No. 6 seed Brice Leverdez of France 21-12, 21-13 while Vittinghus outlasted 2021 All England semi-finalist and No. 5 seed – Mark Caljouw of Netherlands 21-19, 17-21, 21-15.
In women’s singles, No. 1 seed Carolina Marin earned a free pass to the semi-final when No. 6 seed Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark gave her a walkover.
Marin will meet No. 5 seed Neslihan Yigit of Turkey in the semi-finals. No. 4 seed Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland and No. 7 seed Line Christophersen of Denmark will square off against each other in another women’s singles semi-final.