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Euro-Asia All Stars Challenge - 17 Mar 2013

Asia won opening leg in ruthless style


European team failed to preserve the advantage gained on the opening day in Qingdao. Asian side won the first leg of the the 2013 Asia-Europe All Stars Series 7:3 on aggregate, after being 2:3 down. On a second day Europe had few chances but hosts showed

European team failed to preserve the advantage gained on the opening day in Qingdao. Asian side won the first leg of the the 2013 Asia-Europe All Stars Series 7:3 on aggregate, after being 2:3 down. On a second day Europe had few chances but hosts showed no mercy. At the end it was 5:0.

Jun MIZUTANI – Marcos FREITAS 3:2 (11:6, 9:11, 11:6, 11:13, 11:6)
Japan’s Jun MIZUTANI repeated the success from the previous day. Like day earlier he gave Asian team early boost with the good opener. Powerful shots and endless tension marked first duel of the day.

In the match between two left-handers it was MIZUTANI who had a better start and won opening game 11:6. In next game Marcos took the initiative. He had 4:0, 8:4, 9:5 and then he stopped at 9:8. Coach Jorg ROSSKOPF was forced to call for time-out. As Marcos almost won that game it was crucial for match to stop turn over. That was good call and Marcos won finally with 11:9 after long forhand-forhand exchange of strokes.

In the third game we saw a copy of the first one as Jun started with 2 points of advantage, Marcos tried to catch him up to 8:6 but then with three fast points Jun secured the lead. Jun was 2:1 up but at break-neck pace in the fourth game FREITAS prolonged the duel to the decisive game by narrow margin. Marcos was playing on the edge with lot of risky balls and created 8:3 advantage, but Samurai came back on 9:9, and only after two game-balls at 10:9 and 11:10, Marcos finally equalized on 2:2 with fantastic forehand parallel strike.

Final game was played in three big series, first Jun came up to 5:0 and 6:1, afterwards Marcos recovered to level at 6:6 but that was last point for him as all next 5 points were won by Jun.
Asia leveled at 3:3. 

JIANG Tianyui – Adrian CRISAN 3:1 (3:11, 12:10, 11:7, 11:8)
Adrian CRISAN took the first game by the storm starting with 8:1 and finished with 11:3. Player from Hong Kong could not find the rhytm before Romania’s CRISAN sealed the first set.

In the second game CRISAN had 4:0 but then his adversary leveled at 4:4. After that they played point by point to 10:10. At the end JIANG was lucky and won 12:10. From that part of the game it was clear that World’s no. 15 found the right tactic for Adrian . It brought Asia into first advantage in two days, 4:3.

CHUANG Chih Yuan – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:1 (11:4, 8:11, 12:10, 12:10)
Vladimir SAMSONOV beat ZHANG Jike yesterday, but in the opening game against CHUANG Chih Yuan it was Taipei’s player who dominated completely.

SAMSONOV recovered and won second game. He took the control over CHUANG’s powerful attacks for 1:1. After that we saw fantastic exchange of strokes from both players in the thrid game. Vladi had game-ball at 10:9 but 3 great counter spins gave CHUANG lead 2:1.

Spectacular points in the fourth game, Vladi once again at game-ball 10:9 but CHUANG made 3 great fast speed attacks to close 3:1.In aggregate is now already 5:3 for Asia.

ZHANG Jike – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 3:0 (11:8, 11:2, 11:9)
SAMSONOV inflicted the pain in the hearts of the host team’s supporters yesterday, when he beat ZHANG Jike. Today, reigning Olympic and World Champion was at the top of the game and prevented any upsets in front of his town crowd.

OVTCHAROV and ZHANG played another re run of the Olympic Games semi final with the same outcome at the end. Jike had a hood start and with quick 5:1 set the course of the duel. In the same pace he clinched the victory in next one leaving Dimitrij with only two points.

It was one way street for Chinese player and despite Dimitrij’s efforts 3.000 spectators in Qingdao gets the chance to celebrate Asia’s overall victory even one match before the end, 6:3.

JOO Se Hyuk – CHEN Weixing 3:1 (11:5, 7:11, 11:8, 14:12)
In the match for the prestige JOO Se Hyuk secured another point for Asian side. Austrian player managed to win only second game in the match where Korea’s player dominated completely.

It was the clash between the players with the similar style of play, with defence from backhand side and offensive attacks from forhand sides. The most thrilling game was the last one. Fourth game started with 5:0 and 6:1 for JOO, finished with 14:12.


Photo: Marcos FREITAS (courtesy ATTU)

Milica NIKOLIC, EWT

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