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Two Spanish pairs, one French and one Italian. These are the names of the four semi-finalists in the mixed doubles draw at the European Games in Krakow. In the top half, young Spaniards Daniel Santigosa and Noa Canovas spent three hours to defeat Italians Giulio Graziotti and Carolina Orsi. It ended 3-6 7-5 7-6, with the Azzurri even ahead 5-2 in the second set: two points away from the Italian victory, however, the Spanish comeback began, in a very tight and exciting match.

“We were always down in the score, but we did well to recover – explained the 19-year-old Canovas – We fought the whole match: we are very tired, but happy to will go back on court tomorrow”. Also suffering, from the bench, was coach Juanjo Gutierrez: “All the quarter-finals, in all the tables, will be very level, and this is good for the whole tournament and for the show it can offer”. Santigosa and Canovas now await French Thomas Leygue and Lucile Pothier, who defeated Portugal’s Miguel Deus and Catarina Vilela. “I am really happy – said Leygue -. The problems in this match were mainly tactical, and due to the fact that the ball goes very fast here. Playing the semifinal in the square in Krakow? It will be beautiful”.

In the lower part of the draw, the number 2 seeded Spaniards David Gala and Araceli Maria Martinez also did well, breaking (6-3 7-6) the dream of the Poles Jerzy Janowicz and Aleksandra Rosolska. Now, for Gala and Martinez, the challenge against Italians Marco Cassetta and Giulia Sussarello, who defeated (6-3 6-1) Germans Matthias Wunner and Victoria Kurz. “We are very happy to fight for a medal – said Cassetta and Sussarello. “We are sorry for the defeat of Giulio and Carolina because they came close to a great win. We interpreted the match in the best way: it is the first time we are playing mixed together, we are having fun, and we can’t wait to get back on the court”.