European Olympic Singles Qualification | 23 Apr 2021

Players are pushing each other to the limits as we approaching final stages

Photo: Rita TABORDA, courtesy PTTA

In the semi final of the Men's Singles Event at the European Olympic Qualification, one step away from the ticket for Japan, Rares SIPOS of Romania will meet KOU Lei of Ukraine and Alvaro ROBLES of Spain will meet Vladimir SIDORENKO of Russia. In Women's Singles semi final Yana NOSKOVA of Russia will play against Prithika PAVADE of France and her compatriot YUAN Jia Nan will meet SHAO Jieni of Portugal.

In the quarterfinal Rares SIPOS overcame Tobias RASMUSSEN of Denmark (4, 11, 7, 6). Straight games win underlined his determination, but it was not an easy task.

“I am happy how I started the game, but after the easy opening game the tiredness from playing six matches in three days showed up. I had a strange feeling, I lost my focus and I felt blocked. I was screaming within myself to push my legs, to stretch my body, to lift myself...I made it. I was back in track to win the second game and eventually the match without upsets,” explained SIPOS.

KOU Lei overcame Samuel KULCZYCKI of Poland in another straight games match (9, 5, 5, 13).

“I needed some time to read his game, but after the opening set it was relatively easy. The problems begun in the fourth game. I was not able to see what he will play next and he was 8:2 in the lead very quickly. I could only play point by point and to be patient,” said KOU.

Alvaro ROBLES overcame Paul DRINKHALL of Great Britain (7, 9, -7, 9, 5) whilst Vladimir SIDORENKO beat Pavel SIRUCEK of Czech Republic (-6, 9, 6, 3, 9).

Seeded no. three Yana NOSKOVA, who had 3:1 lead, withstood a spirited comeback from Christina KALLBERG of Sweden to book her place in the semi final (7, -12, 6, 3, -6, -8, 4).

“Making drama is story of my life,” said Yana laughing.” I started very well; in fourth game I was 9:0 in the lead and then I lost my focus. Christina felt it, she changed the pace. KALLBERG is very dangerous when she create the position to attack. She took the control over the match, before I realise how critical it is. Fortunately, in the seventh game I was in charge.”

In the semis NOSKOVA will meet Prithika PAVADE of France who continued to dominate. On her way to the semis, French player overcame Ukraine's Solomiya BRATEYKO (5, 7, -4, 5,7). YUAN Jia Nan of France beat Maria XIAO of Spain in straight games to book her place in the next round (14, 6, 7, 4). After the big drama; fantastic come back from 1:3 to 3:3 for Charlotte CAREY, it was SHAI Jieni who reach the semi final (6, -10, 5, 10, -9, -7, 11). In fantastic game CAREY had five match points but host nation representative recovered to win the match by he narrowest of margins.


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