Simon GAUZY in superb shape in LuxembourgPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
One round before the end of the Group stage of the Men’s Teams Event at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships in Luxembourg, Sweden secured the leading position in their group. After success against Russia, they overcame Greece in Group D. Luxembourg suffered by the hands of Russia’s players.
Sweden cruised toward victory in straight matches duel against Greece. Anton KALLBERG beat European junior champion Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS in straight games, Kristian KARLSSON beat Panagiotis GIONIS again in three games, whilst Mattias KARLSSON needed one game more to overcame legendary Kalinikos KREANGA.
“GIONIS was not on the top of his game. In addition I made him more uncomfortable by good blocks. My defense was very good, so he could not attack me,” explained KARLSSON.
Russia’s ended Luxembourg’s hopes for quarterfinal. Grigory VLASOV, Sadi ISMAILOV, Vladimir SIDORENKO overcame Gilles MICHELY, Eric GLOD and Luka MLADENOVIC in straight games.
“We lost our match 0-3, even though Eric and Luca played a lot better than yesterday. There was a chance to win, even if they could have beaten the two younger Russians, as we speculated. As to my match, I played very well during the first two sets, but of course my opponent was much better, since he is one of the fifty best players of the World,” said Gilles MICHELY.
In Group D, France is at the top of the standings after two victories, over Poland and Romania. Surprisingly they shares first position with Ukraine also unbeaten team at the Championships.
Today France beat Romania 3:1. Simon GAUZY overcame Hunor SZOCS and Ovidiu IONESCU, whilst Tristan FLORE lost his encounter against IONESCU. Emmanuel LEBESSON overcame Adrian CRISAN.
“I know well CRISAN, because I have played against him in the French league. Our most typical match was at the Olympic Games when I lost 3-4. However, now I was able to beat him. Simon’s games were very important. His two matches gave us safety,” said LEBESSON.
Ukraine’s Viktor YEFIMOV, KOU Lei and Yevhen PRYSHCHEPA beat WANG Zengyi, Daniel GORAK and Marek BADOWSKI of Ukraine in straight matches.