Russia’s dreams come truePhoto: ITTF
LIEBHERR 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships
In the Women’s Event at the LIEBHERR 2018 World Team Table Tennis ChampionshipsGermany prevailed against Luxembourg in straight matches. Russia halted Sweden in the morning sessions of the day three in Halmstad.
Petrissa SOLJA beat NI Xia Lian, Sabine WINTER overcame Sarah De NUTTE, whilst Nina MITTELHAM prevailed against Danielle KONSBRUCK.
“I am very happy with my performance against NI Xia Lian. Recently, I work a lot with my sister. The trainings with her helped me against experienced NI. That was very hard match. Also Sabine was under pressure, because Sarah improved a lot recently. She is gained some experience by working with us in Dusseldorf. It was 3:0 at the end, but it was harder then the results predict,” said SOLJA.
Hosts suffered by the hands of Russia’s players, but they did not leave the court without great fight. In five matches Matilda EKHOLM is still unbeaten. Polina MIKHAILOVA beat Linda BERGSTROM to give her team good start before Matilda beat Yana NOSKOVA. Mariia TAILAKOVA overcame Jennifer JONSSON, but again Matilda leveled the match in the duel against Polina. At the end in the decisive duel Yana overcame Linda.
“Yana is our hero. She did it! Our dream come true. Neither of had the chance to play in the top 12 in the second phase of the World Championships. This is the first time for our generation. So many times we were so close and finally we did it,” said Polina.
Girls praised the adversaries’ qualities.
“Martilda play like she is on fire. She is unbeaten here. We could not count that we will beat her in Halmstad so we were focused on other matches. There was no place for mistake, but Linda is very dangerous player, so we did not take anything for granted. I was under pressure in the first match. If I had lose it, it will be 2:0 for Sweden because Matilda was next in line. Mentally, it will be very difficult to recover from that” added Polina.
The biggest pressure was on NOSKOVA’s shoulders. She had to prove her class in the decisive match.
“Last time at the World Championships, when we were playing for the place among top 12, I was in the same situation. My match was decisive, if I had won it we could move forward, otherwise we will finish in play offs, and I lost it. Now, when I lost the opening game all those memories flashed before my eyes. I could not even look at the bench, thinking what is in minds of other girls. I know I had to win this one. Even second game was close, but I recovered. Then in fourth game it was 7:6, they called for the time out; soon it was 10:7 and still I was not allowed to relax. Linda is the kind of player who never gives up,” said Yana NOSKOVA.