Austria destroyed Russia’s dreamsPhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
Sweden win the Group to progress to the quarters of the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships
After the battle of the epic proportions Austria booked their place in the top eight teams in the Men’s Teams Event at the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships. They accounted for Russia, leaving host nation without chance to play for medal. From the top spot in the Group, Sweden progressed to the quarters as well.
In the last match in the hall, Austria needed five matches to succeed.
“At the beginning of the day we were down, because we lost our encounter against Sweden day earlier. That win will bring us to the quarters for sure. We lost after we were 1:0 and 2:1 up. We found ourselves in must –to- do situation. We had to beat both Romania and Russia” explained Stefan FEGERL.
Ovidiu IONESCU had other plans.
“He beat Robert GARDOS in fantastic style. He played really good. That is why I am so proud after all. I managed to “fix” it and to beat him. We succeeded against Romania, but after that we had even harder task. Playing against Russia here put enormous pressure on everyone. Robi gave us good start against Kirill SKACHKOV. I never lost against SHIBAEV, but this situation was different. In Russia he plays like he is under spell. I am sure that he could win the medal in singles here. Again, third match was very important. Daniel HABESOHN brought us back in game. SHIBAEV beat GARDOS, so it was me against Kirill in decisive match.”
And that one went on Stefen’s account.
“I set the good tactics. I played close to the table, with very good service game. However at the end I think my hart was at the right place.”
Earlier today in the Ekaterinburg Expo Centre, Russia caused a major upset by beating Sweden, the third seeds, who like the host nation had recorded a first day success. On the previous afternoon they had beaten Austria in a full distance five match duel.
Alexander SHIBAEV twice brought his team level and kept hopes alive. He beat Jon PERSSON, after Mikhail PAIKOV had been beaten in the opening match of the engagement by Pär GERELL.
Sweden moved ahead by Kristian KARLSSON’s victory over Alexey LIVENTSOV but, Alexander SHIBAEV responded, he overcame Pär GERELL before Kirill SKACHOV concluded the matters.
“Jon played very well against me, but I adapted quickly; I have played against Pär many times before; I am well aware that his service is dangerous”, said Alexander SHIBAEV. “My tactic was to focus on each point, not to think about the result; just to go one step in the time. At 2:2 I was confident that Kirill SKACHKOV would win. It was not an easy match for him but I was very sure he would succeed.”
Sweden succeeded against Romania ; Kristian KARLSSON overcame Ovidiu IONESCU, Par GERREL beat Hunor SZOCS and Anton KALLBERG succeeded against Andrei FILIMON.