Italy and Czech Republic surprise finalistsPhoto: Robert Valai
European Youth Championships
In the In 59 years rich history of European Youth Championships never happened that even one of following nations did not reach the semi final of the Junior Teams Event; Germany, Russia, Sweden and France all failed to reach the penultimate round. In the final, after tonight’s thrilling contests in Zagreb, will play Czech Republic and Italy.
Czech Republic beat Belgium on their way to the ultimate stage, whilst Italy prevailed against Romania.
“It is great relief now. We were only third in the Group and we made it to the final. I am so happy,” said Daniele PINTO. ”Tonight it was not meter how good my backhand or forehand is. It was only meter to stay calm and not the be afraid. I won against SIPOS in mental game.”
Czech Republic created a big upset by beating the top seeds in the quarters. France departed the Event earlier then their rankings predicted after thrilling four matches duel. The instrumental of Czech success was Tomas POLANSKY who beat both Alexandre CASSIN, Europe’s no. two and Joe SEYFRIED. In the fourth match POLANSKY was down two games to one.
“CASSIN is number two in Europe. That fact put a lot of pressure on me. I was not playing at my usual level. However from the point when I realize that I am losing the match, I decided to open my game, to risk more and to be more relaxed. It paid of. I recovered and win the match,” explained POLANSKY.
Italy beat Germany.
“We had a very poor start of the tournament and now we are finally on right tracks. We lost against Russia and Poland in previous phase to be only third in the Group. Everything changed when MATTEO beat JORGIC and won two points in the duel against Slovenia. That was unbelievable match that gave us new start. We continued in the same rhythm against Germany,” said Daniele PINTO.
Romania beat Spain in straight matches in quarters.
“After we survived very tough encounter against Russia in the Round of 16, everything is easier. Against Russia we showed great team effort and now is only important to continue with the good games,” said Cristian PLATEA.
Belgium beat Slovakia 3:1.