Dutch prevailed in nail biting quarterfinalPhoto: David Ramos/Getty Images
Germany will play against Czech Republic
In the semi final of the Women’s Teams Event at the European Games in Baku, Germany will play against Czech Republic. Iveta VACENOVSKA, Renata STRBIKOVA and Hana MATELOVA beat French team 3:1. In the other semi final Ukraine who beat Sweden 3:0 meets Netherlands.
Dutch team succeeded against Poland. The match lasted almost three hours, before Netherlands won.
“ It is always like that. We always play long matches. However, one thing I still do not understand, previously we had two defenders, now only one, and still we are incapable to finish the match faster,” said coach Elena TIMINA laughing.
Li Jiao overcame Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA at the opening. “To be honest, we were lucky with the draw, but it did not save Jiao from pressure. Her duel was pivotal for our overall victory. She had to win it. Under those circumstances she produced perfect performance. It was very difficult for her. Li Jie had less chances against LI QIan, so we were focused next on doubles. Britt EERLAND and LI Jiao did a great work together.”
Against Britt, LI Qian proved too strong, so Jie entered the arena once again to play against Natalia PARTYKA. Paralympic champion put Jie on the severe test.
“Once again Jie proved her team and fighting spirit. She gives everything for the team,” said TIMINA.
Jie admitted: “I was so scared, but the good thing was that Natalia never beat me. That gave me a little bit of advantage and eased the pressure.”
Speaking about the pressure young Britt said that everything is easer when you have team like her.
“Everything is easer with my teammates. They are such wonderful persons and players. At the beginning thy approached me and told me they will be there for me, so I can tell them everything what bothers me. When someone opens to you is in that way, it is easy to open yourself,” explained Britt.
In the quarterfinal Germany overcame Russia in impressive style. HAN Ying gave her team dream start with the victory over Yana NOSKOVA. Despite the victory, HAN was not very happy with her performance at the beginning.
“It did not start the way I wanted, and I lost second game. As the match progressed NOSOKOVA played better and better. She adjusted to mu style and managed to find the answer for defense,” said HAN.”We played against each other only once and I beat her, but today it was much harder. Yana improved her game very much.”
Unlike yesterday, Petrissa SOLJA got the opportunity to play singles in quarters as well as doubles. “I woke up nervous, unable to eat. However, that was good sign. The tension was just at the right level,” admitted SOLJA, who beat Polina MIKHAILOVA. ”It was difficult to play against the player with the defensive style, but the service was the part of Polina’s game that bothers me the most. In the third game I only managed to answer on her service once or twice.”
SHAN Xiaona joined SOLJA in Doubles duel: ”There were no problem at all.”
Asked about the playing system with very short break between singles and doubles SOLJA answered: ”It works good for me. I am still warm after the singles. Only problem today was, that I was very happy after victory in singles, so I needed to come down.”
Coach Jie SCHOPP was satisfied with the team’s performance. ”They were focused on victory. Only problem I had was to calm down SOLJA. She was nerveus.”
What did you have to do? “Her willing to win is usually enough to put the things on right place.”