Maria TAILAKOVA secured first medal for Russia in SochiPhoto: Alex LOMAEV
STAG 2017 European Under 21 Championships
On the wings of enthusiastic crowd in Sochi, Maria TAILAKOVA secured the first medal for Russia at the STAG 2017 European Under 21 Championships. Maria TAILAKOVA progressed to the semi final of the Women's Singles Event. Germany will have two representatives at the medal rostrum- Chantal MANTZ and WAN Yuan. The list of the quarterfinal winners was completed with the name of Lisa LUNG of Belgium.
Maria TAILAKOVA beat Natalija BAJOR of Poland (11-4, 6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8) on her way to the last day of the competition.
“I was very nervous and under great pressure. It was very important for me to show my best performance in front of the home crowd. I won the opening game, but then I started to rush. The game become very quick and I lost the control. That is why I had to change the tactics, to slow down and to try to organize my game better. I succeeded, but it was very close,” said Tailakova.
Zdena BLASKOVA of Czech Republic stretched Chantal MANTZ of Germany to full distance, but MANTZ progressed to the semis (8-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10).
“I did not have any special tactics I can explain. Everything was in my head,” said MANZ.
Russia was close to have another girl among the medal winners in singles, but Lisa LUNG was the one who denied it. After thrilling seven games (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11) she beat Ekaterina GUSEVA.
“I seized my opportunity. I realized from the beginning that GUSEVA was very nervous. I know her very well. I was prepared it will be very aggressive game; I was just trying to play point by point,” said Lisa.
Whilst on the other tables the games were heating up, WAN Yuan of Germany was already on the way to her hotel. She beat ZHANG Xuan Xu in straight games (7-11, 5-11, 3-11, 5-11) to book her place at the medal rostrum.
“Unlike yesterday, today I was very calm. I found and settled into the rhythm of the game instantly,” explain WAN who lives in Dusseldorf and enjoying hip hop and Chinese music as a best way to find the serenity before the matches.