SAMARA and GIONIS won thrilling duelsPhoto: Rémy Gros
China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup
After the morning littered with surprises the trend of the lower ranked player beating the higher rated adversary, Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania no. two seed and Gionis PANAGIOTIS of Greece no.13 stopped the trend. In Salle Omnisports du Pierrier at the China Construction Bank 2018 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup they successfully concluded the opening Round.
SAMARA beat NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg (9:11, 12:14, 11:9, 7:11, 11:8, 11:5, 5:11).
“When we saw the draw everyone was so confident that I will win, because I beat her at the European Championships in Luxembourg. I was not that sure, especially since I twist my ankle few days ago. The pain is not that big, but still it is always in the back on my mind. However, I start the match very calm and maintain the patience to beat her,” said SAMARA.
Next in line was Daniela MONTEIRO DODEAN to meet LIU Jia.
“I will now sit and watch that match. I keep my fingers cross for her. If she win it is perfect for Romania. It means we will secure one place in the semi final since we will play against each other in the second round. We have not play against each other at the official match since the European Youth Championships. It is so nice we will play again,” said SAMARA.
Gionis PANAGIOTIS was also stretched to full distance in the match against Ukraine’s KOU Lei (11:13, 8:11, 17:15, 7;11, 11:8, 12:10, 11:5).
“At the beginning I was not in the good rhythm. I could not feel the venue, the ball, the spin…nothing works. That is why I was 2:1 down. He played much better; unlike me who had many ups and downs he was more stable with his game. Then I get the grip. I took over the control. KOU lost his confident and I took advantage of the momentum. In the last game, which was crucial, I want to finish quickly. I was even 7:0 in the lead. I was so tired and I wanted to conclude the duel as soon as possible.
Men's Singles - Round of 16
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