Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS continued to dominate in EuropePhoto: Rita TABORDA
BUTTERFLY Under 21 European Championships
Two times European juniors champion Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS of Greece clinched gold medal at the BUTTERFLY Under 21 European Championships in Gondomar in Men’s Singles Event. In the final, Greek player overcame Gerrit ENGEMANN of Germany (-9, 3, -8, 9, -8, 10, 9). Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia and Rares SIPOS of Romania shared third step at the medal rostrum.
SGOUROPOULOS was required to play both stages of Groups matches, being seeded only at the positions three and four in his Groups. On his way to the gold medal rostrum he overcame two best Romania’s players and three Germany’s players.
“Match against Cristian was the hardest as always, but not even duel against Rares was easy. His style is very difficult for me. At the end I was very tired and my arm hurts. I had problems in the final,” said SGOUROPOULOS.
Gerrit ENGEMANN won first medal at the Europeans after he lost in the quarters of his last junior year. ENGEMANN beat Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia in the semis 4:2 (-3, -5, 4, 6, 8, 9) after being two games down.
“I had problem with my service game and problem with receive. Opening games were really hard for me, so I had to change my game. I adjust my service, I put more rotation on my first ball and managed to recover,” said Gerrit ENGEMANN.
Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS beat Cristian PLETEA in quarters and Rares SIPOS of Romania in the semis (-7, 5, 6, 4, -13, -10, 9).
“It is always problem when players play against the adversaries they know very well. It is hard to find something new tactically. We had to change few things after match against PLETEA, but still it was really close match,” explained coach Konstantinos VATSAKLIS. “I told Ioannis he can not give up. True champion must fight until the last ball. We all knew SIPOS will not go easy.”
SGOUROPOULOS was 3:1 down before Rares recovered.
“I had to slow down the game, but most important I kept on fighting,” added SGOUROPOULOS