LI Jie crowned Women’s champion in AntibesPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
The 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
LI Jie has won the Women’s Singles title at the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup after the Dutch player overcame Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA in the final at the Azur Arena in Antibes.
Heading into the event LI had never previously won the competition but in 2012 in Lyon/Villeurbanne also in France, she did finish as the runner up.
Now LI has added the 2017 Europe Top 16 Women’s Singles crown to her name after her triumph over SOLJA in the final. However, the title was won in a rather disappointing manner as SOLJA was forced to withdraw from the tie early due to injury.
With the scores level at one game apiece the final was anyone’s for the taking, but then in the third end SOLJA left the court for an injury break. SOLJA returned to the table after a short amount of time had passed, but unfortunately for the German player she was not to recover.
Games three and four were played out but that was as far as the Women’s Singles final was to go. SOLJA spoke to the officials and shook hands with her opponent before conceding the rest of the match (7-11, 11-7, 3-11, 6-11).
While this was LI’s second appearance in the final of the tournament she also participated in the Women’s Singles final at the Liebherr 2015 European Championships in Ekaterinburg. The outcome in Antibes has now seen the player from the Netherlands appear in three European Women’s Singles finals on the international circuit.
“I’m very happy, but I’m also very sorry for SOLJA. This was my third time in the final and finally I’ve won so I’m very happy”, LI Jie.
Prior to the final, Germany’s Sabine WINTER defeated Austria’s LIU Jia in the third place match. This result means the three players to book their invitations for the 2017 Women’s World Cup scheduled to take place in Markham, Canada in October are LI Jie, Petrissa SOLJA and Sabine WINTER.