Stefan FEGERL and Joao MONTEIRO beat the oddsPhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
They will meet Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON in semis
Stefan FEGERL of Austria and Joao MONTEIRO of Portugal teamed up for a first time at the 2015 LEBHERR ITTF European Championships. Even without having chance to have training together prior they visit to Russia, they reached the medal rostrum in the Men’s Doubles Event and beat the second seeds Patrick BAUM and Patrick FRANZISKA of Germany in the process 4:2 (11:7, 11:7, 8:11, 9:11, 12:10, 11:7).
“We commenced very good. We are able to have many variations in game due our style of play; with good forehands, ability to block…After we had won two opening games, we had a lead in the third 8:7 and 6:4 in the fourth, but we lost it. It did not affect our game. We kept on playing focused and we won the fifth game by narrow margin, after we were set ball down” explained MONTEIRO.
FEGERL went into the details:
“We began with the very good top spin. The point is that we were first to use it in the game and that gave us advantage. It is always like that in the doubles, who use the top spin first - wins. As a match progressed, our opponents played better. The crucial moment was in fifth game. We were down 9:10, we won it for 3:2 and everything was easier after. BAUM played very good in this match and we are happy we won it,” said FEGERL.
They will meet Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON of Sweden the pairings who beat Marko JEVTOVIC and Zsolt PETE of Serbia - 4:1 (11:5 11:9 8:11 11:9 11:9). Pairings from Sweden already won silver medal at the European Championships 2012.
“It maybe looks easy, but it was difficult match. Two games we won 11:9 and one we lost. Mattias was superb today. He locked the game in the first half, so it was quick 2:0. They recovered a little after that. They changed the rhythm and we needed the time to adapted to it. That is why we lost the third game,” explained Kristian.
Mattias added: “We managed to take the control over the match in early stage. “
Russia won the first medal in Men’s event at the Championships. Alexander SHIBAEV and Kirill SKACHKOV of Russia beat Pär GERELL and Jon PERSSON of Sweden 4:2 (11-13, 11:4, 14:12, 7:11 11:6 11:9). Russia’s pairings already played in the final of the European Championships in 2011 in Gdansk and Sopot.
“We played together in the past, but for some time it did not work. Now we decided to try again and we are very happy with the result. At the beginning of the match GERELL and PERSSON moved better. It seamed always like they are in the lead. At 1:1, it was 10:6 for our adversaries, but we changed our service game with forehand service and we won the game 14:12. It boosted our self - confidence,” said Kirill SKACHKOV.
Top seeds Robert GARDOS and Daniel HABESOHN of Austria overcame Alexey LIVENTSOV and Mikhail PAYKOV of Russia 4:2 (13:15, 11:9, 11:5, 11:6, 8:11, 11:4). Austrian has gold from the European Championships 2012 and silver from 2013.
“In the quarterfinal, Russia’s pairings were little bit tired. We were prepared for much closer match. Some tactics that we knew they know how to use, they just did not. We were afraid knowing what they can produce, but when we saw it will be easier then we predicted we were relieved. We kept the match under control,” said Robert GARDOS.
HABESOHN added: ” It was a close start, but after second game we found our rhythm.”