FRANCE progressed to semis in furious stylePhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
Last years European champion and silver medalist in singles Emmanuel LEBESSON and Simon GAUZY alongside Quentin ROBINOT lead France to the medal in the Men’s Teams Event at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships in Luxembourg. In the quarterfinal they overcame Greece in straight matches.
In the opening match Simon GAUZY overcame Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS.
“We did not expect 3:0 at the end. Of course, we were favorites, but no one expected it would end without difficulties. It was easier since KREANGA was not in the team,” said GAUZY. “I never played against SGOUROPOULOS. I know he is European youth champion, but I never had watched him play before.”
GAUZY was aware of potential danger.
“I remember well how it was when I was at his age and when I had to play against the players in the top 50 in the World. You are not under pressure and you can easily create the upset. That is why I was cautious,” said GAUZY.
Emmanuel LEBESSON overcame Panagiotis GIONIS, whilst Quentin ROBINOT succeeded against Konstantinos PAPAGEORGIOU.
“From the beginning we were prepared for this match. We had a good start and after Emmanuel and Simon, with 2:0 on the scoreboard I was very confident. The pressure was on PAPAGEORGIU. I know he could be very dangerous, but today I was very good. I was focused on his forehand,” said ROBINOT.
PAPAGEORGIOU said: ”We knew that it would be very hard for us against France because they are far superior to us….On top of that our best player is not in good shape because of a harmstring injury..Our only chance would have been for him to win two matches every time but the way things go with his injury he will not do very well in this tournament.”