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Champions League Men - 15 Mar 2015

Fenerbahce seals half title in Linz


After the first final leg of the 2014/15 Women`s European Champions League, Turkish champion is much closer to the crown than two times WECL winner from Austria! Fenerbahce continued its winning streak in Linz, beating away Froschberg 3:2 after 3 hours an

After the first final leg of the 2014/15 Women`s European Champions League, Turkish champion is much closer to the crown than two times WECL winner from Austria! Fenerbahce continued its winning streak in Linz, beating away Froschberg 3:2 after 3 hours and 45 minutes contest in Sportpark Lissfeld Hall. Returning match will be held in Istanbul, on April 4th (12h00 CET).

WU Yang was too strong for Linz`s players, even for LI Xioadan who entered the game against her with 9-0 individual score. World`s no. 7 showed its class, winning two matches in straight games.

Powerful attacker LI Xiaodan overcame good defender Irene IVANCAN in four games of the opening encounter. Guest started very well in first three sets, but took just the first one. It was clear that Chinese has needed a time to find solution for defense of her opponent.

Sofia POLCANOVA missed two good chances in first two sets against WU Yang, having 8:4 lead in the first and two set balls in the second (10:8). The best ranked WECL player reinforced her play always when it was necessary.

The most interesting match was one between two left-handers, LIU Jia and Elisabeta SAMARA. Linz`s player missed one match ball in the fourth set (but before that she saved two set balls), while guest responded instantly on her strokes. It could say that the powerful backhand of LIU determined the winner. It was obvious especially in the latest, fourth set, when the 2005 individual European champion used often that her weapon.

After nine WECL wins in a row this season, LI Xiaodan suffered first defeat, playing against still undefeated WU Yang. Froschberg`s player missed a set ball in the opening game, but after that guest dominated with her strong defense.

Finally, POLCANOVA and IVANCAN got the chance to decide the winner. It showed that there was too much pressure for 21 year old host which talent is undeniable. Linz`s player led after 3rd set, but the 2011 ECH runner-up easily won the next two, to secure advantage to her side before the returning leg. It was Fenerbahce`s 9th consecutive victory in nine rounds this season.

WECL final, leg1

Linz AG Froschberg – Fenerbahce Sport Club 2:3
LI Xiaodan – Irene IVANCAN 3:1 (9:11, 11:8, 11:9, 11:4)
Sofia POLCANOVA – WU Yang 0:3 (10:12, 10:12, 2:11)
LIU Jia – Elisabeta SAMARA 3:2 (9:11, 11:9, 11:6, 11:13, 11:7)
LI Xiaodan – WU Yang 0:3 (10:12, 6:11, 6:11)
Sofia POLCANOVA – Irene IVANCAN 2:3 (11:7, 9:11, 11:8, 4:11, 3:11)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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