Ouseph win aids England at Europeans

Hounslow’s Rajiv Ouseph helped England into the quarter-finals of the European Mixed Team Championships on Thursday.

The world number 22 defeated Scott Evans 21-7 21-16 in a 5-0 victory against Ireland in the day’s first round-robin match.

Ouseph sat out the evening win over hosts Belgium which ensured England topped group two.

England are among the favourites for a medal in Leuven, having reached the semi-finals or better on every occasion bar one since the biennial event began in 1972.

The 12 teams in the tournament are split into four groups of three, with the best two making the quarter-finals.

When Ouseph entered the fray, England were 1-0 up after Chris and Gabby Adcock’s victory in the mixed doubles.

World number 30 Evans is the highest-ranked player the west Londoner has faced this year but came into the match with an 8-1 head-to-head record.

And Ouseph began impressively, winning seven of the first eight points and then motoring on from 8-5 to ease to the opening game.

It was a tighter affair in game two, the lead changing hands regularly before the pair found themselves locked at 9-9.

Ouseph kicked on by taking nine of the next 11 points and secured the match at the first time of asking.

England romped to a whitewash thanks to Fontaine Mica Chapman in the women’s singles, Peter Mills and Andrew Ellis in the men’s doubles and Heather Olver and Lauren Smith in the women’s doubles.

Olver and Smith also secured the win over Belgium when they beat Steffi Annys and Flore Vandenhoucke.

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