K. KONSTANTINOPOULOS and TOLIOU celebrate in GreecePhoto: I. FAKAROS, courtesy Greece TTA
National Championships of Greece
New champions of Greece were have been crowned on Sunday in Athens. In the National Championship, which took place at the Byzantine Athletic Center, Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS won the Men`s Singles title for the first time and in his 24 years he became the 19th champion in the history of the event. Katerina TOLIOU emerged as the winner of the Women's Singles and celebrated the second gold medal in the event. Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS arrived at the top in Men's Doubles also with his brother George. They managed it for the third year in a row. In Women's Doubles the gold medal went to Konstantina PARIDI/Dimitra-Thomais TSEKOURA and that was a surprise to the approximately 150 fans who were on the platforms.
In Men's Singles KONSTANTINOPOULOS started as the 4th favorite. In the semifinals, he beat the eight-time Greek champion Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU 4:3. He was first qualified for the final and then beat Tssos RINIOTIS with 4:2. Greek champion of 2017 participated in the final of the competition for the third year in a row.
“Too important result for me and I can say I did not expect it. I say this because in an official game I had never defeated Papageorgiou, and with Renios I was an underdog in all the games. But I did well and believed myself”, said the player of Panathinaikos.
Important absences from the event were John SGOUROPOULOS (actual European champion in Junior's Singles) and John VLOTINOS (national record holder with 14 titles) due to minor illness and injury respectively.
The final of the Women's Singles also had a new face. It was Konstantina PARIDI, who made an amazing tournament at the weekend. TOLIOU, however, had chances due to her defensive style of play and her experience of such finals. PARIDI, who beat year's champion Christina FILI in the quarterfinals 4-2, took the first game, but the top Greek woman at the World Rankings improved her game and dominated the next games (4-1).
“I am very happy and excited because I managed to regain the national title for the second time. I worked a lot and it worked. In the final I tried to be firm on my defense, I had patience and I did very good attacks”, said Toliou.
The results of the finals
MS: Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS - Tasos RINIOTIS 4-2 (12-10, 10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2)
WS: Katerina TOLIOU - Konstantina PARIDI 4-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4)
MD: George KONSTANTINOPOULOS/Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS - Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU/Tasos RINIOTIS 3-1 (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9)
WD: Dimitra-Thomais TSEKOURA/Konstantina PARIDI - Georgia ZAVITSANOU/Christina FILI 3-2 (11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 10-12, 11-2)
- Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS (Panathinaikos)
- Tasos RINIOTIS (Olympiacos)
- Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU (club of Europe)
- Kostas LAGOGIANNIS (Panathinaikos)
- Katerina TOLIOU (DAO Tavrou)
- Konstantina PARIDI (Phoenix of Piraeus)
- Alice KIOUFI (Sarises Florina)
- Maria CHRISTOFORAKI (Olympiacos)
- Giorgos KONSTANTINOPOULOS/Konstantinos KONSTANTINOPOULOS (Panathinaikos)
- Kostas PAPAGEORGIOU/Tasos RINIOTIS (Club of Europe/Olympiacos)
- John BOSKOVIC/John DAMIANIS (Aris Voulas / Eagles of the City)
- Nikos ANTONIADIS/Stratos DAMIANIS (Pera Athens)
- Konstantina PARIDI/Dimitra-Thomais TSEKOURA (Phoenix of Piraeus)
- Christina FILI/Georgia ZAVITSANOU (DAO Tavrou/Sarisses Florina)
- Katerina TOLIOU/Filareti EXARCHOU (DAO Tavrou)
- Olga GEORGOPOULOU/Maria CHRISTOFORAKI (Pera Athens/Olympiacos)