14.09.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina will go from rivals to partners in less than 48 hours as after playing each other in the gold medal match of the Russian Cup in Anapa on Monday, the players will represent their country together at the 2020 edition of the European Championships, which start on Tuesday, in Jurmala, Latvia.
Winners of last year’s World Tour stop in Espinho, the players represented different clubs in the Russian Cup and met in the final, where Makroguzova and Daria Rudykh defeated Kholomina and reigning Youth Olympics champion Maria Voronina in straight sets (21-16, 21-12) to take the title.
"I didn't think it was my partner across the net for a single moment," Makroguzova explained. "I think Svetlana learned from the experience because she played in a new role, as a blocker, and she did very well, so it was worth it."
Shortly after the final, the Russians took a flight to the Latvian coastal city as they are set to debut in the European Championships on Tuesday, against Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Aleksandra Wachowicz.
Two-time Olympians Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova, who will also compete at the European Championships, finished third after they prevailed over Alexandra Moiseeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva in the three-set (19-21, 21-19, 15-7) bronze medal match.
The men’s final saw the end of a dominant run from reigning world champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov, who had won the Russian Championships last week and the Russian Tour event before it.
The Russian stars made it to the final again, but were stopped by Rio 2016 Olympian Konstantin Semenov and his partner Ilya Leshukov, who posted a 21-17, 21-14 victory to secure the title.
World Tour regulars Nikita Liamin, a 2017 World Championships bronze medalist, and Taras Myskiv collected the bronze medals after they downed Ruslan Bykanov and Alexander Likholetov 21-14, 21-15.