Three Russia’s players at the medal rostrumPhoto: Vladimir ZDANOVICH
2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships
The first set of medals at the 2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships is already decided. Tomorrow we will see how the positions at the medal rostrum will be determined. In the semi final of the Women’s Singles Event will play Mariia TAILAKOVA of Russia against her teammate Anastasia KOLISH and Valeria SHCHERBATYKH of Russia will meet Natalia BAJOR of Poland.
The duel between last year Sochi silver medalists Germany’s WAN Yuan and bronze medalist Mariia TAILAKOVA concluded in favor of Russia’s player. After a shaky start and 2:0 in reverse, TAILAKOVA read the WAN’s service game and simply killed any suspense in the game (11:7, 11:8, 3:11, 5:11, 4:11, 7:11).
“I played against WAN Yuan a couple of years ago, it was hard to withstand her play style. The today's encounter was tough, too. In first sets I produced powerful shots, but then slowed down the game, took more precise shots, which forced my opponent to make simple mistakes and opened the way to the next round for me,” said Mariia.
Valeria SHCHERBATYKH maintained her patience to overcame defensive play of Alina NIKITCHANKA (11:3, 11:8, 11:2, 10:12, 11:1) and in doing so inflicted the pain in host nation supporters.
“The match was quite easy for me. Although I realized that the whole Belarus was watching me playing, I felt no pressure at all, I was calm. The only problem was the one I've already mentioned: in the fourth set I lost focus for some time and let my opponent score 3:1. I'm working hard for such things not to happen in the upcoming matches,” explained Valeria SHCHERBATYKH.
Natalia BAJOR of Poland prevailed against Ozge YILMAZ of Turkey (6:11, 7:11, 7:11, 16:14, 14:12, 7:11).
“It was a very nervous match. I lost in quarterfinals in the previous year, so I was very eager to win and to improve my last year's result. Ozge YILMAZ has a very good service, it was hard for me to receive. Anyway, I am very happy I could have made it this far,” said BAJOR.
Anna WEGRZYN of Poland suffered defeat by the hands of Anastasia KOLISH of Russia (9:11, 5:11, 10:12, 11:4, 11:8, 11:6, 8:11).
“Even when you lead 3:0, you are not entitled to relax, that's my motto for the today's match. I made a mistake and could barely fix it then. The 7th set was a challenge for me – I was leading when something went wrong, and the final rallies were more like duels. I played with this girl in the first day of the competitions, and I can say she is very reserved, she never shows her emotions. She has advanced since the first day, too, so it was difficult to play,” reflected KOLISH.