Good start for Alexandra PRIVALOVAPhoto: ITTF
Rio 2016 Olympic Games
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the table tennis tournament commenced this morning with both Men’s and Women’s Singles Event.
In the opening round of the Women’s Singles event for Poland’s Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC, the Czech Republic’s Iveta VACENOVSKA and Romania’s Daniela MONTEIRO-DODEAN emerged victoriously. Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC and Daniela MONTEIRO-DODEAN ended Indian hopes; Katarzyna beat Manika BATRA (10-12, 11-6, 14-12, 8-11, 11-4, 14-12), Daniela overcame Mouma DAS (11-2, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3).
Iveta VACENOVSKA overcame Colombia’s Lady RUANO (11-8, 11-2, 11-7, 11-8), Lily Zhang accounted for Gremlis ARVELO (11-3, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7), before WU Yue brought the morning to a conclusion by beating the Slovak Republic’s Eva ODOROVA (3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8).
Galia DVORAK of Spain came to Rio as a replacement for the injured French player Carole GRUNDISCH, but her stay ended shortly. DVORAK lost against GUI Lin of Brazil (11-1, 5-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6)
"I was prepared physically but I was not prepared in my head because it is such a big tournament, it happens only once every four years and people train four, five six months and because I was not qualified maybe I was fine in my game but my head is still somewhere else."
She faced the vocal crowd in her match against host nation representative.
"It's not so nice, not what we are used to in table tennis but I would not say it really affected me, I was focused on my game and all this, just at the beginning it was very shocking, actually I lost the first game 11-1 because I clearly wasn't there. We are not used to this in table tennis, like in other countries like in China they cheer a lot but never against the opponent, they cheer for their players but never making this 'ooooh' against you, it was just weird."
Egypt’s Nadeen EL-DAWLATLY was beaten in four straight games by Hungary’s Petra LOVAS (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7), Nigeria’s Offiond EDEM experienced defeat at the hands of Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus (5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4). Another Belarus representative, Alexandra PRIVALOVA is also safely through to the second round. She overcame Iran’s Neda SHAHSAVARI to join NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg and Barbara BALAZOVA of Slovakia in next round. PRIVALOVA needed full seven games against SHAHSAVARI (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5). BALAZOVA overcame Yadira SILVA of Mexico in straight games (12-10, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7), whilst NI inflicted the pain in host nation supporters by beating Caroline KUMAHARA in another full distance thriller (12-10, 14-16, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3, 14-12). KUMUHARA saved four match points in the decider.
NI Xia Lian had to change her style mid-match after falling behind three games to one:
"I changed to a new style after 40 years. I could not play conservative anymore because she played super good. So I'm really happy to win. She started to change the speed of the ball. So sometimes the ball was so fast and so short."
On her next opponent, SHEN Yanfei of Spain, NI said: "My opponent is better than me. In the history I have always beat her, but history is history and not today. I hope for tomorrow I have another beautiful day.
The 53 years old player added: "Life is beautiful, I don't remember my age, but sometimes I feel my age. That's the only shame (laughs)."