Asia – Europe 4:1 after 1st day in Nantong
Other five matches to be held tomorrow, August 5th, with the live coverage at LAOLA1.tv
The Asia – Europe Challenge Day 1 is concluded by 4:1 lead of the host side. Koki NIWA, CHUANG Chih-Yuan, WONG Chun-Ting and ZHANG Jike have provided four wins for Asian team, while Portugal`s Marcos FREITAS won unique point for Old Continent.
Europeans had a chance for better result, as both Vladimir SAMSONOV and Jonathan GROTH stretched their opponents to full distance. Tomorrow, August 5th, five more matches to be held, starting at 08:00 CET (14:00 local time).
Koki NIWA – Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:2
Japanese Koki NIWA provided early lead for the host side, as he beat Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:2 (11:4, 11:8, 9:11, 6:11, 11:9). NIWA controlled first two sets in each moment, but Belarus responded in a same way to level the score at 2:2. SAMSONOV had an open way to his victory, reversing the score from 1:4 to 8:5 and 9:6 in the ultimate chapter, but NIWA won five points in a row to conclude the clash.
CHUANG Chih-Yuan - Jonathan GROTH 3:2
Asia leads 2:0 thanks to Chinese Taipei`s victory against newcomer in the Old Continent`s line-up, 3:2 (14:12, 11:9, 7:11, 9:11, 11:6). Player who spent most of his career in European clubs, CHUANG was faced with three game points in the opening set, but managed to win it. European left-hander from Denmark showed good table tennis, winning some lovely rallies, but experience prevailed in decisive moments. Third and fourth set saw much stronger GROTH with powerful forehand and some fantastic exchange with twisted bodies. CHUANG regained control in the late fifth sate and won this encounter.
“I think today is the well-played match. I did not practice too much after the summer break. This is my first match. Unfortunately, I still missed this important match. I did not receive so well today. I am not satisfied with the result. I wished I could win. I hope I can win tomorrow. I think on the paper Asia is favorite. But I hope we can come back and get the top five at the end”, stated Jonathan GROTH.
WONG Chun Ting - Kristian KARLSSON 3:0
Two players met in the 2017/18 TTCLM Round 1, when Borussia Dusseldorf`s KARLSSON beat Dekorglass Dzialdowo`s WONG in four games, but this time Hong Kong`s player won in straight games 3:0 (14:12, 11:4, 11:7). Swede missed six game points in the opener and that was crucial for the final outcome. WONG had no problem in the next two games and set 3:0 lead for Asian side.
“I played with Kristian KARLSSON twice before, in the 2016 World Cup and this year’s World Team Championships. In today’s match, I think I performed well, especially when I was 6-10 behind in the first set. Managing to coming back in the set 1 gives me more confident, explained WONG.
LEE Sangsu - Marcos FREITAS 1:3
The 2015 European Championships runner-up upset actual World No. 8 LEE Sangsu, the best ranked player at the event in Nantong 3:1 (11:9, 10:12, 11:7, 11:9). Portugal`s left-hander concluded the clash with the excellent respond on Korea`s serve, taking backhand flick shot. FREITAS was so consistent all the time, creating several amazing strokes in each time when his opponent was close to him. It was fully deserved win for European representative.
Marcos FREITAS was satisfied after beating LEE Sangsu and helping European side to win the first point:
“LEE Sangsu is one of the best players in the world. He is top ranked player. I did not play against him for a long time. Last year he played really well. I think I had a good start also I had the very good serve and receive. Of course I feel nervous given that my team was 0-3 down. Asian team is very strong, 3 nail down is a pressure for me because if I did not meet my point, today my team may be 0-5 down, which is not good for tomorrow. So after I won, I think our hope still alive. I think we will flight more tomorrow to compete with team Asia."
ZHANG Jike - Bastian STEGER 3:0
Former Olympic and World champion beat 2012 European championships bronze medalist in straight games, 3:0 (11:2, 11:2, 14:12). German player had no chance against super motivated Chinese star, supported by domestic fans. In spite of that, STEGER managed to save four match points in the third set. It was very special day for ZHANG who sang the song during the Opening Ceremony in Nantong.
Saturday 4th August
Asia - Europe 4:1
Koki NIWA vs. Vladimir SAMSONOV 3:2 (11:4, 11:8, 9:11, 6:11, 11:9)
CHUANG Chih-Yuan vs. Jonathan GROTH 3:2 (14:12, 11:9, 7:11, 9:11, 11:6)
WONG Chun Ting vs. Kristian KARLSSON 3:0 (14:12, 11:4, 11:7)
LEE Sangsu vs. Marcos FREITAS 1:3 (9:11, 12:10, 7:11, 9:11)
ZHANG Jike vs. Bastian STEGER 3:0 (11:2, 11:4, 14:12)
Sunday 5th August (start at 08:00 CET)
Koki NIWA vs. Bastian STEGER
ZHANG Jike vs. Jonathan GROTH
LEE Sangsu vs. Kristian KARLSSON
WONG Chun Ting vs. Marcos FREITAS
CHUANG Chih-Yuan vs. Vladimir SAMSONOV
Live stream link is following:
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