Russia won the thriller against SerbiaPhoto: Carlos FERREIRA
Junior Girls Teams Event at the 60th STAG European Youth Championships
In the final of the Junior Girls Teams Event at the 60th STAG European Youth Championships Romania will play against Russia.
Russia prevailed against last year’s silver medalist, Serbia in the great battle, which lasted full five matches. Mariia TAILAKOVA overcame Sabina SURJAN who also suffered against Anastasia KOLISH. Daria SHADRINA proved too strong for Tijana JOKIC, whilst Izabela LUPULESKU was only unbeaten player in Serbia’s team.
“We know this is going to be a hard match. In my first match, I was two games in reverse against Sabina SURJAN. I used a tactics that did not work. After that I started to change my game. I put more rotation in the ball and I attacked more. Sabina is strong on the left, so I started to attack her to the right and to the forehand, ”said Mariia TAILAKOVA.” This is not our first final, although we missed one last year, but we were here already and we want to win a trophy.”
Romania beat Azerbaijan to deny them of the place in the final. Andreaa DRAGOMAN lost 2:3 against NING Jing, but Adina DIACONU beat both NING and CHEN Xingtai and lost only one game in two matches. Tania PLAIAN beat DENG Simeng.
“This is my 5th final in Team’s Event and I hope we will achieve our plan to retain the title. We had hard matches today, especially against Azerbaijan. Their players are very fast. I needed to keep with their rhythm and even to be faster. We needed constantly to change the pace of the game. They use Chinese rubbers and that caused the problem. In both matches I struggled with receive, and I had to put a lot of spin into my first ball, “ said Adina DIACONU.
All favorites justified their rankings on their way to the medal rostrum. In the quarterfinal Romania overcame Czech Republic after another superb performance of Adina DIACONU and Andreaa DRAGOMAN. Zdena BLASKOVA added just one point for her side. She beat Tania PLAIAN.
Azerbaijan beat Poland in similar fashion, whilst Russia showed no mercy against Slovenia.
Kristina KAZANTSEVA admitted they suffered more against Germany in pervious round.
“I lost my match against Germany, that is why I was very nervous today, but Slovenia failed to put us under pressure.”
The only real battle was the one between Serbia and Spain. After 2:2 in matches and two wins of ZHANG Xuan Xu, Sabina SURJAN faced Ana GARCIA in the decisive match. She was 0:2 down and 6:9 in third game, before she recovered to win the match.
“I was so afraid before the decisive match, but when I got to the point that I have nothing to lose, everything changed. I had a great support from the bench, I started to play without the pressure and soon I was at the top of the game,” said SURJAN.