Comeback joy for LI Jie in AntibesPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
There was a major comeback performance in the Women’s Singles match at the ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup between LI Jie and LI Qian as the full five game distance was required to find a winner.
Poland’s LI Qian made the stronger start of the two players as she captured games one and two without too much difficulty, but a wonderful effort by LI Jie saw the next three games go in the Dutch player’s favour to complete the comeback (7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).
“I’m feeling victorious after the match. I’m very happy. At 0-2 down I was thinking it was better to play like in practice and this way I was able to stay mentally calm”, LI Jie.
The other match in the group saw another powerful showing from Romania’s Bernadette SZOCS, after she came out on top against Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus.
SZOCS was a late addition to the Women’s Singles competition following the injury withdrawal of her fellow compatriot Elizabeta SAMARA prior to the event, and now SZOCS, who has never progressed beyond the group stage of the Europe Top 16 leads Group D after her four games triumph over PAVLOVICH (11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11).
Earlier on the opening day of the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup tournament, HU Melek suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN, putting the top seed in a difficult position as she headed into the afternoon session of play.
Hungary’s Georgina POTA was the next opponent for HU Melek and, as expected, the match produced several moments of class. While very little separated the two contestants on the table, there could only be one winner and as the match drew to a close it was HU Melek who left the court the happier player (18-16, 13-15, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10).
“I don’t feel so good today, because this morning I lost the first match 0-3 and this is also very difficult. But now I feel a little bit better than this morning”, HU Melek.
Elsewhere there were victories for Petrissa SOLJA and Tetyana BILENKO against Matilda EKHOLM and Stephanie LOEUILLETTE respectively, while Group B saw LIU Jia prevail over Sabine WINTER in five ends and there was a first win for Barbora BALAZOVA after the Slovak Republic representative defeated Russia’s Polina MIKHAILOVA.