Estelle van Leeuwen 1200x410 1

August 16, 2022

Rising star Estelle Van Leeuwen is eager to put hard training yards to the test at this week’s European Junior Championships in Serbia.

The 17-year-old is one of nine English players taking part in the U19 ten-day competition, which will consist of both a team and five individual events in Belgrade.

Van Leeuwen, who will compete in both the women’s and mixed doubles, hopes preparation for the tournament – which counts towards the BWF World Junior Rankings – will be enough for some medal success.

“I’m very excited to get going,” she said.

“We’ve been training on a long training block for it so I’m just excited to get out on court, in the team event as well.

“So I am very excited to do good for England, try and get a win or a medal maybe.”

The team event opens the competition on 18th August with England contesting Group 8 with Bulgaria, Norway and Lithuania – their first opponents next Thursday.

With only one qualification spot available from the eight groupings, a quarter-final place will be a challenge for the English squad.

In the individual events, van Leeuwen teams up with Oliver Butler in the mixed doubles, set to begin on 22nd August.

The pair received a bye in the first round and will face off against the Slovenian pair of Ziga Podgorsek and Spela Alic in round two with the chance for an all-British clash against Scots Anthony McGuire and Brooke Stalker should they both prevail.

Nadeem Dalvi echoed van Leeuwen’s assessment ahead of the tournament and revealed the buoyant mood in the England camp, adding: “It’s been really good for team building and morale within the whole group.

“We’ve really gelled together nicely and we’re just going to do the best that we possibly can do, and as Estelle said, hopefully bring a medal back to the country.”

England’s second representative in the mixed doubles, Blake Hoang and Chloe Dennis, have also earned a bye to the second round and will face the winners of the battle between Igor Jovanovic and Nina Bogdanovic of Serbia and Estonians Hugo Themas and Marelle Salu.

Van Leeuwen and Butler then trade in their mixed doubles partner for their respective women’s and men’s doubles campaigns with the Danish Junior Cup silver medallist linking up with her partner in that event, Lisa Curtin, as they attempt to get past Czech Katerina’s Koliasova and Katerina Osladilova in round one.

Dennis and Leona Lee also go in the event, beginning their competition against Irish duo Neasa and Siofra Flynn.

In the men’s doubles, Butler with Hoang meet Bulgarian’s Yavor Hristov and Georgi Kirov with third seeds Jonathan Dresp and Kenneth Neumann of Germany waiting in round two should they win.

England’s strong roster is supplemented by Dalvi and Jia Bin Lee who start their men’s doubles campaign against the pan-European pairing of Toms Sala of Latvia and Dutchman Rune Van Dalm.

The duo are also set to embark on their individual men’s singles competitions, both with first-round byes and awaiting their opponents for round two.

Lee can look forward to one of Bulgarian Hristov or Nikolas Kokosis of Cyprus while Dalvi will meet Santiago Batalha of Portugal or Lithuanian Vilius Bagdanavicius in round two.

England also has two representatives in the women’s singles, Lee starts her medal push against Belgian Amber Boonen in round two after a bye in the first – while Curtin, fifth seed for the singles event, meets Israel’s Anna Kirillova.

Round of 16 and quarter-final clashes commence on 25th August ahead of semi-finals the next day before the European Junior Championships culminate on finals day on Saturday 27th August.

Recent posts

Back to news