European Championships | 3 Oct 2015

POTA and SAMARA beat the top seeds

On next step players from Hungary and Romania will meet LI Jie and LI Qian


In the semi final of the Women’s Doubles Event at the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships seven nations will fight for the ultimate stage. In the semis: Georgina POTA of Hungary and Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania will play against LI Jie of Netherlands and LI Qian of Poland, whilst in the other match HU Melek of Turkey and SHEN Yanfei of Spain will meet HAN Ying and Irene IVANCAN of Germany.


HU Melek and SHEN Yanfei overcame Barbora BALAZOVA of Slovakia and Hana MATELOVA of Czech Republic 4:2 (9:11, 11:4, 11:13, 11:5, 11:4, 11:7). The Spanish, Turkey combination played at only one occasion before they teamed up for European Championships. On their premiere at the World Championships in China, they reached the quarterfinal.


“In todays quarters, we needed time to settle into the rhythm. BALAZOVA and MATELOVA are very powerful players. We have to find the way to play against their heavy top spin and very good backhand game,” explained SHEN Yanfei.


After 1:2, SHEN and HU took the control over the match.


“The tactics was to play fast, more fast and then faster…” explained HU laughing.” We put them under great pressure.”


Top seeds in the Doubles Event, SHAN Xiaona and Petrissa SOLJA of Germany suffered by the hands of Georgina POTA and Elizabeta SAMARA 3:4 (10:12, 11:9, 10:12, 11:7, 12:10, 12:14, 8:11).


 “It was mind game and we were stronger in it. They had the advantage through most of the match, but not in the minute we thought we would lost. We just kept encouraging each other to stay calm and to fight,” explained SAMARA.


German pairings dominated at the beginning.


“We could not find the game against Petrissa. She was superb. She did not make any mistakes. We asked each other where to play against her. She made only few errors at the closing stage of the match and we seized the opportunity then,” said POTA.


Bronze medalists from the World Championships LI Jie and LI Qian beat Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA and Natalia PARTYKA of Poland 4:3 (7:11, 6:11, 11:9, 13:11, 10:12, 12:10, 11:3).


“It was difficult for me to play against my teammates. They know me and they know how I play,” said Qian.


On the other side, GRZYBOWSKA and PARTYKA puzzled LI Jie.


“I asked Qian in the match what to do, where to play. They were unknown to me,” said Jie.


Li Qian and LI Jie recovered from 2:3 in reverse.


“I changed the rhythm. I started to be more aggressive and our confidence rose,” said LI Qian.


They will meet SAMARA and POTA.


“We already played against them in Austria. It was very close match.”


HAN Ying and Irene IVANCAN of Germany inflicted the pain in the hearts of the host nation supporters. Maria DOLGIKH and Polina MIKHAYLOVA of Russia suffered in full seven games thriller 3:4 (7:11, 6:11, 11:6, 11:6, 11:7, 5:11, 10:12).


"Match defense vs. defense is always difficult, the Russians have played very safe. Our tactics was to attack and we managed it. That was the way we halted MIKHAILOVA’s attacking shots. In the seventh set, we had a 9:4 advantage, suddenly it was 9:9. It was very difficult. We are happy that we won, " said IVANCAN.


Coach Jie SCHÖPP added: "Everybody saw that SHAN did not play smoothly, she is physically weak. She has problems with the right leg, has problems in the deep forehand. Actually her matches on Friday did not make it better. POTA and SAMARA are a good pairings and they play very good against us. SHAN, POTA and Peti are teammates in Berlin. POTA, therefore also knows exactly how she has to play against Nana. Unfortunately we could not account for the 9:6 lead in the sixth set.”