Defensive masterclass results in victory for LI JiePhoto: ITTF
ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
LI Jie and Petrissa SOLJA will go head-to-head in a battle for the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup Women’s Singles title after both competitors came out on top in their respective semi-final matches on Sunday 5th February at the Azur Arena in Antibes.
Demonstrating another defensive masterclass, LI Jie found a high level of consistency in her game to come through her last four encounter with Germany’s Sabine WINTER.
This is only the second appearance that WINTER has made at the Europe Top 16 having finished in sixth position at last year’s event and, while she put up a brave performance against LI, it was the player from the Netherlands who stole the show across six ends (5-11, 11-7, 15-13, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6).
After the match, LI Jie’s coach LI Jiao said she was happy with how her player played in the semi-finals.
“I’m very proud of LI Jie. I think her chances in the final against SOLJA will be 50-50. Every time LI and SOLJA play it is very close so we will see”, LI Jiao.
The other semi-final saw Petrissa SOLJA defeat the no.2 seed from Austria LIU Jia by a 4–1 scoreline (13-11, 7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5).
SOLJA was in commanding form throughout the last four tie and, while the German competitor was pushed hard at times, she calmly moved through into the final.
The second step on the podium is the highest SOLJA has previously achieved at the tournament when she reached the final in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015. However, the 22-year-old now has a chance to set a new personal best record at the event when she takes on LI Jie in the 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup final.