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European Championships - 2 Oct 2015

BALAZOVA found the way to fight the fears

Photo: Elena ELISEEVA

The pressure rises in the Ekaterinburg Expo



The eighth day of the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships started with few upsets in the second round of the Women’s Singles Event.


One of those were created by Slovakia’s Barbora BALAZOVA who beat HU Melek of Turkey in the round of 32 – 4:3 (7:11, 9:11, 11:9, 14:12, 11:8, 4:11, 11:7).


“I did not have any high expectation before this match. Maybe, that is the reason for my success. I played at the Team’s Event poorly; I had to many defats. It destroyed my self-confidence,” explained BALAZOVA.


Even in the match against HU, Barbora faced great difficulties at the beginning.


“I was two games to nil down and HU had 9:7 in third game. I cannot explain how, but I won eventually that game 11:9. That was the turning point. In fourth it was 10:8, then 10:10, before I won 14:12. Then I felt her fear. In seventh game it was 6:3 for my adversary, then 10:6 for me. I was just focused to win one point at the time,” explained BALAZOVA.


Germany’s Sabine WINTER was another player to suffer against lower ranked opposition in the second round. Carole GRUNDISCH of France set a career high at the European Championships by reaching the Round of 16 in five games (7:11, 11:8, 12:10, 12:10, 11:9).


“We never played against each other before, but she is the player from the top 50 and I had a lot of opportunities to study her game. She is very strong with the forehand; one of the strongest at the field currently. However the fact that we met each other for a first time went on my favor. She did not know what to expect from me and I had few good tactics to choose against WINTER,” said Carole.


The opening game went to Sabine’s account, but the rest of the match French girl kept under control.


“I played from both sides. I used the service without a spin; shot or half long. Her receive was not very good. I had opportunity to use various tactics after that. Every game finished by narrow margin, but I never felt I am losing control. I always had new tactics prepared.”


Polina MIKHAYLOVA beat Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA according to expectations, but it was not easy job at all. The player who was instrumental in Russia’s success at the Women’s Teams Event, leading the team to the bronze, was stretched to full distance against Polish adversary in the second round 4:3 (9:11, 5:11, 11;7, 11:9, 11:9, 7:11, 12:10).


“In two opening games I failed to create any chance to win. I did not feel my game. Whatever I tried it came back unsuccessful. When it comes to attacking, I could not made a break through; when I tried to play more defensive, it was another failure. GRZYBOWSKA was really good today, “said MIKHAYLOVA.


SHAN Xiaona was close to tears in spite of the victory against the 52-year-old NI Xialian from Luxembourg.


"It was so hard for me. I never knew where the ball comes or what is in it for a spin. I had 2:1 and 6:4, but lost this set. I started to cry. Three, four years ago, I played twice against her in the Bundesliga and won. But against long pimples you just have to train more often. Now against LI Fen, it will have another hard match. "


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