POLANSKI justified his statusPhoto: Vladimir ZDANOVICH
2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships
Top seeded player in the Men’s Singles Event at the 2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships Tomas POLANSKY of Czech Republic had a safe start of the competition day in Minsk.
On his first coming to the table POLANSKY overcame Thomas GRININGER of Germany (11:2, 11:7, 11:6, 13:11). In the same Group Artur ABUSEV of Russia created the upset by beating Tom JARVIS of England (6:11, 4:11, 6:11, 12:10, 7;11).
“ I had some difficulties yesterday. In the previous match, it was no sooner that I started leading when I realized I could win. Today I feel much more focused and prepared. Jarvis has played the majority of games with defenders. I am a defender too, so I knew what he could bring up. I started leading at the beginning and kept this mood till the end of the game,” said ABUSEV.
Darko JORGIC of Slovenia, no. two seed faced serious pressure in the match against Tomasz KOTOWSKI of Czech Republic (7:11, 11:2, 11:4, 11:5, 5:11, 8:11, 11:5), but prevailed after the fierce battle.
“ It is my first match, so I am probably not in the nest shape, I hope it will get better in the upcoming games. I have played against KOTOWSKI many times before, and I lost some of those matches against him. The last set was nervous for me, I had to push to the table and just make points one by one,” explained JORGIC.
In the same Group Stanislav KUCERA of Czech Republic beat the odds and overcame Dennis KLEIN of Germany (8:11, 9:11, 7:11, 8:11).
“I felt comfortable in this game. I beat KLEIN last time we meet. He’s not so good with defense, while I was safe and made no mistakes. At some moments I changed the direction of my spins, which confused him and helped me scored 3-4 extra points in every game,” said KUCERA.
Andreas LEVENKO of Austria avenged his last year’s defeat at the European U 21 Championships in Sochi, against Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS of Greece (11:9, 4:11, 11:8, 14:12, 10:12, 11:9).
“The match was tricky. I’ve played against him a couple of times before, but I feel like I still need to heat up my play in this tournament. My strategy for this match was to be safe, no surprises today,” said LEVENKO.
In the same Group Jiri MARTINKO of Czech Republic beat Ibrahim GUNDUZ of Turkey (12:10, 12:10, 11:8, 11:6).
“I won two first games by narrow margin, which was very important for me. After that I saw clearly that MARTINKO was under great pressure, whereas I did well and implied my tactics. Everything was done neatly,” said MARTINKO.
Cristian PLETEA of Romania needed five games to overcame Luka MLADENOVIC of Luxembourg (11:5, 11:3, 10:12, 11:5, 11:5).
“I saw how MLADENOVIC played yesterday, so I knew what to expect. Still, his play style is strange, he is a good athlete. He performs nice spins in forehand, which gave me the idea of how to withstand him, and I was focused on the match from the very first point. I am a bit scared of what is to be next, but I will do my best at this tournament,” said PLETEA.
Bence MAJAROS of Hungary was first in line of top seeded players to suffer. He lost against Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia (9:11, 9:11, 11:7, 11:8, 11:7, 8:11, 6:11). Aliaksandr KHANIN of Belarus was the next. He lost against Konstantin CHERNOV of Russia (6:11, 11:5, 14:16, 9:11, 15:13, 8:11).
“Alexander and I know each other pretty well, so we both knew it will not be an easy game. I won the first game quite decisively, but it was harder to make the lead in the rest of the match. I mainly performed short shots through the right, that's my technique,” explained CHERNOV.
In the same Group another upset came from Csaba ANDRAS from Hungary. He overcame Denik KOZUL of Slovenia (9:11, 8:11, 3:11, 8:11). “I am happy with how it all went. I think my rival was nervous, he made mistakes, and I had the right tactics. I played backhand with spins. In the last set nervousness came, but I finished the game successful.”
Andrei PUTUNTICA of Moldova overcame Aleksandr LUSIN of Estonia (11:4, 11:8, 11:2, 5:11, 11:9) : “I felt good in this match, it wasn’t anything extraordinary that I had to perform to win. I know LUSIN just as well as he knows me, he does great in defense.”
Patryk ZATOWKA of Poland overcame Abdullah YINGLER of Turkey (12:10, 7:11, 1:11, 12:10, 11:5, 11:6). Rares SIPOS of Romania prevailed against Konstantinos ANGELAKIS of Greece (11:7, 5:11, 7:11, 11:9, 11:2, 11:8).
“I did not expect to win because few weeks ago I was ill. I did not play anything recently in order to recover as much as I can for this Championships. I only played at the Romanian National Championships,” explained SIPOS.
Anders LIND of Denmark accounted for Marek BADOWSKI of Poland (11:8, 9:11, 7:11, 11:5, 5:11, 11:9, 11:9).
“I had not the best feeling concerning this game, and it turned out to be very hard indeed. My tactics was perfect but I couldn’t help missing key shots. I’ve played with BADOWSKI two times before this encounter, and I won once only,” summarized LIND.
Tobias HIPPLER of Germany overcame Maicej KOLODZIEJCZYK of Austria (11:9, 5:11, 11:5, 11:7, 11:5).
“Actually, yesterday’s match with BADOWSKI was more difficult for me than today’s one. I played against KOLODZIEJCZYK in Juniors, so I knew what to expect. Also, it’s much easier to win when you lead-the adversary becomes under stress, and it’s harder to play,” explained HIPPLER.