European Olympic Singles Qualification | 25 Apr 2021

Yana NOSKOVA and Maria XIAO secured last two remaining places for Tokyo

Photo: Rita TABORDA, courtesy PTTA

The last two places at the Women's Singles Event at the European Olympic Singles Qualification Tournament in Guimarães are booked by Yana NOSKOVA of Russia and Maria XIAO of Spain. They joined the French duo of Prithika PAVADE and YUAN Jia Nan who secured the tickets for Japan day earlier.

In the first semi final of the day, Yana NOSKOVA beat Polina TRIFONOVA of Bulgaria (4, 10, -9, -9, 6, 9). NOSKOVA was halted in the semi final of the second stage and she had to go all the way through once again but this time she completed her mission successfully. Previously, TRIFONOVA was halted in the second round of Stage 2 in the match against SHAO Jeni of Portugal.

Against TRIFONOVA, NOSKOVA had very good start.

“I was two games up, but after 9:9 in third game I lost my focus. Everything went so quickly. TRIFONOVA is very dangerous player, it was only SHAO Jieni who beat her here. However, comparing to PAVADE, I felt much more comfortable with her game. She would not hit me with the bomb from the first stroke like PAVADE. I was able to keep the ball on the table against Polina much easier,” explained Yana.

Yana explained what happened day earlier.

“Against PAVADE I was not ready. At this moment, French player is the best player in Europe in her age category and she was also ready for me. We played recently against each other and she was well prepared,” said YANA and added.”I waited 9 years for this, since London. I am so happy now.”


Photo: Rita TABORDA, courtesy PTTA

In the tense, close match for the last remaining place at the Olympics from the qualifications Maria XIAO needed full seven games to overcame Barbara BALAZOVA of Slovakia (9, -6, 7, 9, -4, -5, 6).

“I never managed to beat BALAZOVA in our four previous encounters, but for sure I know her game very well. It was a full distance match, but I was not under great stress. I got 3:1 lead and it gave me confidence even when Barbora recovered to level. At 3:3 I just knew that she could not continue to play at the same level as she did in the fifth and sixth game. I just stayed calm and waited for my moment,” said Maria.

In the Stage 2, XIAO lost to Yuan Jia Nan of France.

'I did not stood the chance against her, YUAN is much better player,” added XIAO.

In the opening round of the ultimate day, Yana NOSKOVA overcame Sibel ALTINKAYA of Turkey (9, 10, -7, 11, 6), Polina TRIFONOVA beat Sarah de NUTTE of Luxembourg (9, -10, 8, 7, 8), Barbora BALAZOVA prevailed against SHAO Jieni of Portugal (4, 8, 8, -10, 10) and Maria XIAO proved too strong for Christina KALLBERG of Sweden (3, 3, 7, -10, -7, 9).



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