Portugal justified their status in EuropePhoto: Francois Nel/Getty Images
European Champions beat France to secure crown at the European Games
Portugal justified their status in Europe. Continental Champions clinched the crown at the first European Games in Baku at the Men’s Teams Event. In the final they overcame France after superb performance.
Tiago APOLONIA once again gave his team dream start with the victory over Adrien MATTENET. He concluded the job in straight games but it was not that close as the result predicts.
“We know each other very well. We play together in Saarbrucken in Bundesliga so it was very close match, as I expected. Especially two opening games were close. Adrian had game ball in second set. When I won the game it gave extra confidence to finish the match with less tension,” explain APOLONIA.
In case of Marcos FTEITAS even the results shows how close the game was. Against Simon GAUZY he was stretched to full distance.
“In past few years we played to many matches against each other. He improved his game and he is very dangerous player. I won the opening game, but when I lost after 8:2, I lost my focus, I become nervous and that affected my game further. Luckily I managed to calm down and to end the duel in my favor,” explained Marcos.
After full distance match in Doubles, France managed to gain another chance to stay in the match. For 19/years old Joao GERALDO, who came at the tournament as last minute replacement for Joao MONTEIRO it was perfect opportunity to conclude the match in great style with fantastic finish and victory over MATTENET.
“I was little bit nervous, like everybody else, but I took the best of it. I attacked,” said Joao.
APOLONIA added: ”We proved that the success at the European Championships was not accidental. We had magical moments in Lisbon, but we succeeded in Baku as well.”
French players were very disappointed.
“Maybe tomorrow this silver will look better, but now it is hard for us to talk,” said Emmanuel LEBESSON.
Simon GAUZY found the strength to highlight the very important moment of the tournament.
“After four of five defeats in the row against Greece, we finally beat them. It happened in the first round and I think it was turning point in our success.”