European Games | 25 Jun 2019
BOLL, GROTH, KOU, PUCAR in game for Olympic tickets
European Games 2019 Minsk
Tomorrow, in Tennis Olympic Center in Minsk Timo BOLL of Germany, Jonathan GROTH of Denmark, Tomislav PUCAR of Croatia and KOU Lei of Ukraine will play for three tickets for Olympic Games in Japan 2020. Three medals winners will gain direct pass to Tokyo.
Jonathan GROTH of Denmark beat WANG Yang of Slovakia in thrilling seven games (11-9, 7-11, 12-14, 10-12, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7).
“I am exhausted. Few times in the match I thought I will get cramps. It was so long and hard duel. At the end it had to be perfect match to beat him. I can tell that I am unsatisfied with one or two strokes during the match, everything else was perfect. Even I had lost I will be still thinking the same. He is so fast, maybe the fastest player at the field,” said GROTH.” I stared good, but I won by narrow margin. If it had been little bit wider gap 11-4, or 5, maybe he will not be that enthusiastic, but here he felt he was close, so he rose his game.”
In today’s quarterfinal, Timo BOLL and Vladimir SAMSONOV of Belarus took the best of each other. In fantastic duel followed by frantic cheering from the stands ended in favor of BOLL (10-12, 11-6, 16-14, 12-10, 11-7).
“It was very intense game. Second and third one was very important. I had to be focused on each ball. When SAMSONOV is playing like he did today, he can beat everyone. It was important for me to stay calm, not to crack under pressure. He went after each ball in full strength, there can not be mistake. Also, I had to make an advantage, because the home crowd gave him wings. There were lot to think about; but most important I had to stay focused,” said BOLL.
European Under 21 Champion Tomislav PUCAR of Croatia overcame European singles champion Emmanuel LEBESSON of France (12-10, 10-12, 10-12, 7-11, 6-11).
“I had a shaky start of the match; I had two games balls t 10:8, but made easy errors and I lost it. However, I kept my positive energy and attitude and continued with lot of self confidence. Next two games I won by narrow margin and it was only the third game, when I finally read the LEBESSON’s style. I get into his system and prevailed,” said PUCAR who reached the Round of 16 at the World Championships.
Cedric NUYTINCK of Belgium suffered by the hands of KOU Lei of Ukraine (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12).
“I am happy I managed to get over my injury. Now I am very happy the way I play. Tomorrow I will give my best to reach the place in the Olypmpics,” said KOU.