Darius Knight led the way on day one of the 2012 European Championships in Denmark with two excellent doubles wins followed up by a singles victory over host-nation player Kaspar Sternberg.

Knight began the day alongside Danny Reed, the 2012 National Men’s Doubles Champions reuniting, to defeat Kiryl Barabanov and Gleb Shamruk (BLR) in four games. The pair then improved on that success with another superb performance to beat the higher ranked duo of Constantin Cioti (ROU) and Fedor Kuzmin (RUS) 3-0 (11-5, 12-10, 11-9) and secure their place in the main draw.

Knight’s perfect day was complete when he once again upset the odds to beat Denmark’s Kaspar Sternberg 3-2. The left-hander flew out of the traps to take a 2-0 lead but was pegged back to 2-2 before silencing the home crowd by fighting back to win the decider 11-6 and create a potential group deciding match with Sweden’s Par Gerell on Thursday.

It was also a good day for Joanna Parker who overcame an opening doubles defeat alongside Kelly Sibley to win her next doubles encounter 3-1 before winning both of her group matches 3-0.

Parker was comprehensive in both her singles victories with the victory over Amare Janjeva (KOS) including an incredible 23 consecutive point run for the English girl while the straight-games win over Alex Galic (SLO) saw her drop just 14 points in total. Tomorrow she will play Nicole Trosman in a group lead decider. However, unfortunately the English pair will not play in the doubles as they were not drawn as lucky losers.

Her doubles partner Sibley kept her European Championships dream alive with a comeback 3-2 victory over Maryia Kuchuk after she had fell to a shock opening 3-0 defeat to Cristina Hirici (ROU). Sibley fell 2-0 behind to the Belorussian and was close to kissing her chances goodbye in Herning but she found her fighting spirit to claim the last three games and keep alive her chances of qualifying from the group.

Both Liam Pitchford and Andrew Baggaley also started well in their campaigns with three consecutive victories on the opening day. Pitchford, alongside Paul Drinkhall, was comfortable in successive straight-games doubles wins while Baggaley, paired with Portugal’s Andre Silva, also won twice including a 3-2 win over Oleksandr Didukh and Ivan Katkov from Ukraine.

The 29-year-old then beat Julien Inderneberg (BEL) 3-1 while Pitchford scraped a 3-2 win over Jakub Dyjas (POL) after blowing a 2-0 lead, only to hold his nerve in the decider. Both with have difficult games tomorrow to progress as group winner with Baggaley facing Li Ahmet (TUR) and Pitchford due to play Quentin Robinot (FRA).

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all plain sailing as 14-year-old Tin-Tin Ho suffered two group defeats including an agonising 3-2 defeat to Sweden’s Jennifer Jonsson. Nervous from the start, she conceded the first two games 11-1 and 11-4 but fought back to 2-2. In the deciding game she managed to lead 5-2 and 8-6 before painfully losing 11-9.

Danny Reed will also struggle to progress after losing 3-1 to Thomas Treglar (CZE). He must now beat Patrick Franziska (GER) to stand any chance of qualifying.

Tomorrow Darius Knight’s match with Magnus Magnusson, Liam Pitchford’s crucial match with Quentin Robinot and Knight/Reed’s doubles match will be live on laola1.tv

Doubles Main Draw:
Darius Knight/Danny Reed vs Jonathan Groth/Kaspar Sternberg – Thurs 19:00
Andre Silva/Andrew Baggaley vs Alexey Liventsov/Mikhail Paykov – Thurs 19:00
Paul Drinkhall/Liam Pitchford vs Emmanuel Lebesson/Adrien Mattenet – Thurs 19:40

2012 Joola European Championships Results (English)
Men’s Singles:
Group 1:
Thomas Tregler (CZE) bt Daniel Reed 3-1 (8-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-8)
Group 4:
Darius Knight bt Kaspar Sternberg (DEN) 3-2 (11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6)
Group 24:
Andrew Baggaley bt Julien Inderneberg (BEL) 3-1 (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11)
Group 25:
Liam Pitchford bt Jakub Dyjas (POL) 3-2 (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6)

Women’s Singles:
Group 3:
Joanna Parker bt Amare Janjeva (KOS) 3-0 (11-1, 11-0, 11-5)
Joanna Parker bt Alex Galic (SLO) 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-6)
Group 18:
Jennifer Jonsson (SWE) bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-2 (11-1, 11-4, 7-11, 8-11, 11-9)
Katerina Penkavova (CZE) bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-8)
Group 19:
Cristina Hirici (ROU) bt Kelly Sibley 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-9)
Kelly Sibley bt Maryia Kuchuk (BLR) 3-2 (3-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5)

Men’s Doubles:
Group 5:
Paul Drinkhall/Liam Pitchford bt Roope Kantola/Benedek Olah (FIN) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-8)
Paul Drinkhall/Liam Pitchford bt Samuel Novota/Natali Ruvman (SVK) 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-3)
Group 10:
Darius Knight/Daniel Reed bt Kiryl Barabanov/Gleb Shamruck (BLR) 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8)
Darius Knight/Daniel Reed bt Constantin Cioti (ROU)/Fedor Kuzmin (RUS) 3-0 (11-5, 12-10, 11-9)
Group 16:
Andre Silva/Andrew Baggaley bt Mattia Berardi/Benedek Olah (FIN) 3-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-8)
Andre Silva/Andrew Baggaley bt Oleksandr Didukh/Ivan Katkov (UKR) 3-2 (11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6)
Women’s Doubles:
Group 6:
Ipek Karahan/Sanem Ezgi Sahin (TUR) bt Kelly Sibley/Joanna Parker 3-1 (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3)
Kelly Sibley/Joanna Parker bt Nicole Trosman/Natali Ruvman (ISR) 3-1 (11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 11-2)