Robert GARDOS beat Mattias FALCKPhoto: Rémy Gros ITTF
2020 CCB Europe Top 16 Cup, Montreux, February 8-9
In the semifinal of the Men’s Event at the 2020 CCB Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux Darko JORGIC of Slovenia will meet Tomislav PUCAR of Croatia whilst Timo BOLL will play against Robert GARDOS. In Women’s Event on opposite sides of the table will be Margaryta PESOTSKA of Ukraine vs. Petrissa SOLJA of Germany and Britt EERLAND of Netherlands vs. Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria.
Darko JORGIC beat WANG Yang of Slovakia in thrilling finish (7:11, 8:11, 10:12, 11:6, 20:22). He needed 11 match balls before he manage to seal the victory and passage to the penultimate stage.
“I beat him three times before, but today was very difficult at the end. The match started good, but then he found the right distance that gave him better possibility to attack and to defend,” said JORGIC.”I was too passive on my match balls band it complicated my position.”
Liam PITCHFORD of England failed to put pressure on Timo BOLL 0:4 (4:11, 7:11, 8:11, 7:11). Germany’s player was in the lead from the beginning.
“I am in the good run against Liam from Austrian Open. I beat him there in the same way. It seems like it took it’s toll on his play. I felt his service game and he could not adjust to my service and there was the key. However, I did not feel safe any minute. You cannot lose focus when you are playing against him,” said BOLL.
Mattias FALCK of Sweden lost to Robert GARDOS in six games (8:11, 11:9, 11:6, 9:11, 5:11, 8:11).
“I suffered twice recently against him and he is World’s vice champion, so I cannot be happier after this victory. He is the player with such huge backhand, so I cannot beat him by his weapon. I had to improve my service game to keep it on the high level and to took good care of timing and technique,” said GARDOS.
Marcos FREITAS of Portugal lost to Tomislav PUCAR (11:4, 9:11, 11:7, 6:11, 14:16, 12:14).
“I did not play first match at the tournament, because OVTCHAROV withdrew, so I needed a little time to adapt to the venue. In lost in previous two occasions against FREITAS and I knew how dangerous he was. Even tonight I was in advantage in the fifth and sixth game and he caught me, but in the end I was little bit lucky,” said PUCAR.
Margaryta PESOTSKA beat HAN Ying of Germany 3:4 (18:16, 9:11, 9:11, 8:11, 11:6, 13:11, 8:11) in a match full of turn-overs.
“I think we both excursed each other in three opening games and after that we could only await from the other side to make mistake. In the seventh game I was 7:2 in reverse but I kept on fighting. I fought for each ball. I put more spin and played spin on spin. I was more patient,” explained Margaryta PESOTSKA.
Luxembourg’s NI Xia Lian could not halt the progress of Britt EERLAND 2:4 (11:13, 11:6, 5:11, 11:5, 7:11, 5:11).
“I am familiar with her style of play and usually I play very well against her. However, this time she adapted very quickly. NI changed her rhythm and I was paying a way too much attention on my technique. I was not moving well in the middle of the match. Then I start to move better and the quality of my game improved,” said Britt.
Sofia POLCANOVA overcame Barbora BALAZOVA of Slovakia in straight games (11:5, 11:9, 15:13, 13:11).
“I was more confident than this morning. I played again against lefthander, so I was already “prepared”. In addition, I studied her game. I know I have to go for a powerful first ball, quick points...She cannot adjust her game and to find the right answer to that,” said POLCANOVA.
Petrissa SOLJA overcame Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania (9:11, 6:11, 11:13, 11:9, 11:9, 9:11). In sixth game she was 7:0 down, but she recovered to win the game and the match.
“At the beginning of the sixth game she played very aggressive, especially with her backhand. I had to change something, I had to play riskier. I wanted to avoid the seventh game at all costs,” said SOLJA.