LEBESSON lead France to semi final
French player beat Vladimir Samsonov
Even without Timo BOLL and possibility to have his replacement Germany book their semi final place at the Men’s Teams Event at the European Games in Baku. European vice champions beat Sweden to join winners from Lisbon last year – team of Portugal. Germany will play against France, whilst Portugal meets Austria.
Timo BOLL suffers from the stomach problems, so he was unable to join his teammates today in the quarterfinal. Unfortunately coach Jorg ROSSKOPF is not sure will he be ready latter tonight for the penultimate stage. According to rules, there is no possibility of replacement any of three players listed for the Team’s Event, so if one got injured there is still possibility of play but with two walk overs.
“This was unpleasant situation for both teams. For us obviously, because we are 2:0 in reverse even before the start of the game, and for Sweden because they are aware of three chances for win. It made huge pressure on our adversaries. We were in the situation that we cannot allow to be defeated even once. If we had lost one match it is –over,” explained ROSSKOPF.
Having that on mind Dimitrij OVTCHAROV opened the match against Par GERELL. He had to go full distance.
“GERELL’s top spins are very dangerous, but at the point when OVTCAROV improved his service - receive game he was on winning tracks.”
Patrick BAUM beat Kristian KARLSSON in four games.
“For the game against Jon PERSSON I had doubts. BAUM was absent from the circuit for six seven months, and simply he was not in such situation for a while. I decided to put OVTCHAROV. PERSSON has very strong forehand, so he made it really hard for OVTCHAROV. It was not easy for him neither. It was his first match at the tournament and suddenly, out of the blue, he had to play against OVTCHAROV.”
France booked their place in semis in superb style. Evgueni CHTCHETININE stretched Adrien MATTNET to full distance, but next match was the one who attract all the attention. Emmanuel LEBESSON, world’s number 79, overcame Vladimir SAMSONOV currently ranked at position no. 9.
“In last 20 matches I took only on game from him. This is fantastic victory. It has been a while since I managed to beat some player from Top 10. However I have to admit, SAMSONOV was not on his usual level, and on the other side, everything went my way today,” stated LEBESSON.
Simon GAUZY and LEBESSON sealed the duel with full distance victory in doubles.
Austria prevailed against Russia. “I said sometimes you are happy with the draw and then you lose…This time, we were not very happy with the team’s draw, but we won. I had few, very difficult encounters against Alex SHIBAEV and I was not very happy that I have to play against him,” said GARDOS who won in straight games.
Stefan FEGERL overcame Kirill SKACHKOV and with lot of tension Austrian parings GARDOS, HABESOHN sealed the victory.
“It was very tough situation. We were in position to risk everything by losing the doubles. The draw for the fourth and fifth match was not in our favor. We could not let our advantage be wasted,” said HABESOHN.