Belarus trio in splendid formPhoto: Vladimir ZDANOVICH
2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships
The top 8 players entered the game today at the 2018 BELGOSSTRAKH European Under 21 Championships. In Women’s Singles Event in the morning session none of the top seeds faced severe pressure.
Top seeded WAN Yuan of Germany faced Ozge YILOMAZ of Turkey (12:10, 10:12, 11:5, 11:8, 11:7), but her adversary managed only to win the set. However, the two opening games were very close, but when WAN settled into the rhythm it was the one-way street. Adina DIACONU of Romania also needed some time to warm up and it looked that Sabina SURJAN of Serbia can produce the upset, but eventually DIACONU showed her power (12:10, 11:9, 11:2, 11:9).
In Group with Adina, Jamila LAURENTI of Italy beat the odds and overcame Andrea PAVLOVICH of Croatia (9:11, 7:11, 15:13, 10:12, 11:5, 12:10, 7:11).
“That was a tough one. I was leading 3:1 in games when I lost focus, which led to the loss of the fifth set. In that set, I let myself relax and thought of winning the match already, but this was a mistake, and I paid for it. Nonetheless, I managed to regain concentration and finished the game in my favor,” explained LAURENTI.
The host nation’s ace Alina NIKITCHANKA followed the path in the duel against Anna KRIOSHENKO of Finland (11:6, 11:4, 11:6, 11:7).
“I was anxious before the start. It is my first match in Singles, so I was a bit hesitative, even though I played in Doubles yesterday. I am about getting used to the venue now,” said NIKITCHANKA. “I have faced my today’s adversary many times before. The last match against her was two months ago, and it was a straight win back then. I know KIRICHENKO pretty well, so today’s situation on the table did not bring any surprises.”
Daria TRIGOLOS also brought joy to host nation supporters. She overcame Kristina KALLBERG of Sweden (11:5, 8:11, 11:5, 11:5, 11:8).
“This game was not easy, but I like how I did against KALLBERG. I played with her half a year ago, so I had known what I c an expect of the game before even getting to the table. It was in the second game that I lost several points in sequence, but then I recovered advantage and finished the match successfully,” explained TRIGOLOS.
In the same group Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia overcame Fanni HARASZTOVICH of Hungary (11:4, 11:4, 11:6, 11:3).
“I was confident about how I performed in this match. I played with HARASZTOVICH a month ago and I lost then, but today situation was different. She was nervous, while I was calm and did well, so the match is mine now,” concluded KUKULKOVA.
The winning series was completed with third Belarus representative Nadezhda BOGDANOVA. She beat Airi AVAMERI of Estonia (11:6, 7:11, 11:4, 14:12, 12:10).
“At the beginning I was nervous, this is my first match here. But during the duel I felt the endless support of my city and my country, so that was what helped me to win. My opponent plays with this special racket – one side of it is smooth and the other one is spiky, so I had to adapt to this different style. In the end, everything went just fine,“ explained BOGDANOVA.
Solomiya BRATEYKO of Ukraine overcame Ana TOFANT of Slovenia (11:7, 11:8, 11:7, 11:7), whilst Natalija BAYOR of Poland beat Filippa BERGAND of Sweden (14:12, 11:7, 14:12, 8:11, 11:9). Mariia TAILAKOVA of Russia prevailed against Orsolya FEHER of Hungary (11:3, 11:5, 11:6, 4:11, 11:3).
“ I didn’t play yesterday, it is my first match here, hence it was rather hard to win. My opponent is very good at topspins, so my strategy was to put the ball on the table at least once and then impose my play style,” said BRATEYKO.
Marketa SEVICKOVA of Czech Republic beat Simay KULAKCEKEN of Turkey: “I am so happy that I’ve won in this match. I’ve never defeated KULAKCEKEN before, you see, so today’s victory is truly an achievement for me. The game wasn’t easy at all, for my rival didn’t make any simple mistakes, and I had to be in the game to the fullest. It was hard.”
Andreea DRAGOMAN of Romania overcame ZHANG Xuan of Spain: “Today’s match was harder than the previous one. More top seeded players are here today, everyone is motivated, and you have to do your best. ZHANG attacked very much and imposed diagonal play, so my tactics was to play in parallel, stay focused and be faster than the rival.”
Valeria SHCHERBATYKH of Russia overcame Katerina CECHOVA of Czech Republic (11:7, 11:4, 8:11, 11:5, 11:6):” I feel that today it is easier for me to play than it was yesterday. Sometimes I made mistakes in this match, but my opponent was not really as strong as I expected, so I won quite easily. I thought this game to be trickier.”