Germany and Ukraine booked their place at the medal rostrumPhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
Top seeds won the re-run of last year’s EC final
In the semi final of the Women’s Teams Event at the 2015 LIBEHERR ITTF European Championships will play top seeds Germany and Ukraine. It is the outcome of the first quarterfinal matches in the early afternoon program in Ekaterinburg EXPO today.
In the re-run of the last years final, played 11 months earlier in Lisbon, Germany repeated the success and beat Austria. Instead of LI Qianbing, this time played Sofia POLCANOVA and instead 3:0, it was 3:1 for Germany. It was exactly POLCANOVA who made that difference. POLCANOVA overcame SHAN Xiaona in the opening match.
"We had a lot of respect when we saw the draw last night. In the preliminary round, the teams often not play complete against us. At that early point, maybe 70 percent are enough. Then suddenly, you get a strong team in quarter finals. In that case it is not easy to stay focused. But we also knew: we are better and we have to win. We were very well prepared. We were surprised that Austria has nominated Amelie at position three. So with a victory by HAN or SHAN and with a victory of Peti we knew that we had a good starting position. "
After POLCANOVA beat SHAN, HAN Ying leveled the match. She overcame LIU Jia. Next in line was the duel between two sisters. Undoubtedly there are no many, if any case of sisters playing against each other for the different national teams.Petrissa SOLJA and Amelie SOLJA created history today. It was Petrissa who won.
“We expected difficult match. POLCANOVA justified our thoughts with very good performance at the opening, stated Petrissa.” Speaking about my match, it was one of the hardest in my life. I played against my sister; it brought a lot of emotions in game. On one side I have my team and my responsibilities, I had to win it. I did it, but I cannot hide the emotions; at the same time I am very sad. “
HAN Ying justified her status and beat POLCANOVA in fourth game.
"Yesterday the defeat against BALAZOVA came at the right time. Yesterday evening I thought a lot about my game. Today I knew that if I play well, I'm going to win both singles. I have prepared well and was not as nervous as last time in Lisboa 2014,” said HAN Ying.
Sabine WINTER celebrated her 23rd birthday today.
"Last year my team gave me the final for my birthday, this time it was only the semi-finals. I hope the final will still come."
Ukraine overcame Czech Republic on their way to the medal rostrum.
Margaryta PESOTSKA beat Hana MATELOVA and Iveta VACENOVSKA to add two more victories to her list at almost impressive tournament for her so far.
“It is not easy to start the game with the thoughts about recent defeat. We lost against Czech Republic at the European Games in Baku; it was again the match for the medal. Knowing that we were under pressure. However, all the fears went away when the game started. I felt confident, I got the power and my tactics was at the right place. I managed to focus only to game.”
It was another victory that everyone expects from Margaryta PESOTSKA, but for sure Ganna GAPONOVA beat the odds.
“Not only that I caused the upset, but I surprised myself as well. In Baku I lost against Iveta VACENOVSKA in straight games. Here, I thought I might take away a game from her. Crucial thing was that I was not under pressure. She carried the burden of being favorite. I play point for point, freely and relaxed.”
Only Tetyana BILENKO suffered. She lost against Dana CECHOVA.
“I should won it, but I could not find the game for her today. Her top spin made me hard to smash. My defense suffered and I cannot find usable attack against Dana.”