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European Games - 16 Jun 2015

Gabriela FEHER upset the rankings

Poland’s Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA suffered by the hands of Serbia’s player

In the Women’s Singles Event at the European Games in Baku few upsets “spiced” the first round, but for sure the match that attracted most of the attention was between Eva ODOROVA against Swede Linda BERGSTROM, whilst the one between NI Xia LIan and Lisa LONG provided a great food for the media.

51-year-old NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg beat 15-year-old Belgium’s Lisa LUNG . It was the contest between the oldest and the youngest player in the Event.

"It may have looked easy, but she is much better than I thought. From my view, Lisa is a big talent," said NI.” I always say 'never say never'. I never imagined to be playing at this age. The federation in Luxembourg has been so good for me. They love me so much."

On the possibility of playing her own children at international events NI said:

"My children don't like to play table tennis professionally, because I am always gone. They play only for fun."

Eva ODOROVA of Slovakia was in the arena for hour and 20 minutes. Her match against BERGSTROM 4:2 (12:10, 11:13, 11:6, 15:17, 11:8, 11:8) lasted so long, that Renata STRBIKOVA from Czech Republic came to coach Barbora BALAZOVA, since Valentina POPOVA was involved in first match. 

“I lost my focus after I won first game. In next I hade a safe lead and then all of the sudden I was in reverse. I needed time to get back in rhythm and right frame of mind,” explained ODOROVA.

Speaking about POPOVA, the interesting fact is that she returned to Azerbaijan after 31 year. POPOVA was born here, before she moved to Slovakia.

In terms of results Gabriela FEHER of Serbia was in charge for the biggest upset. Currently ranked at position no. 128 at the World rankings she beat Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA of Poland currently ranked at position no 75.

“After three years of struggling with injury, finally I won important match. I have been missing so much major competitions. This victory is very important for me,” said FEHER.

In the first round of the Men’s Singles Event Admir DURANSPAHIC of Bosnia and Herzegovina overcame TAN Ruiwu of Croatia to create biggest upset in the evening program.

“From the very beginning I felt that I want that victory more. I lost opening game, but I saw my chance. He was not determined like I was,” explained Admir.

The duel between WANG Yang of Slovakia and Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC of Serbia ended in favor of Slovakia’s player, but both players suffered from injuries. The stake was even higher comparing the other players. After withdrawal of Timo BOLL, the winner of the match gained free passage to the place among best 16.

Russia's Kirill SKACHKOV suffered by the hands of Jean-Michel SAIVE.

Gabriela FEHER upset the rankings 

"I am like a kid here. I have nothing more to prove. I am not quite sure what players think when they play 'old SAIVE', maybe they think it's easier because I'm getting old, but also they know I know how to win."

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