World Championships

Almost perfect day for Germany in Houston

The opening day of the fights at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Houston continued with the great performance of the Germany’s players. After Nina MITTELHAM suffered by the hands of host nation’s pride Amy WANG (11:8, 11:9,11:5,11:9), remaining eight players recorded impressive wins and they will join Timo BOLL in today’s Round of 64.

HAN Ying moved to the next round after win over Swiss Rachel MORET, who was overwhelmed by the defensive and attacking qualities of her opponent. Germany's number one, European singles champion Petrissa SOLJA, also reached the round of the best 64 with an equally sparkling clean performance. She defeated the Serbian Izabela LUPULESKU (11:6, 11:4, 11:6, 11:8).

Sabine WINTER proved too strong for Welsh Charlotte CAREY, (5,2,-4,2,13): "In the next match I have to improve if I want to leave the table as the winner." The Bavarian meets Hong Kong's world number 13. Doo Hoi Kem on her next step.

To the next Round also progressed Barbora BALAZOVA of Slovakia who overcame Italy’s Debora VIVARELLI (7, 7, 9, 8), Pauline CHASSELIN of France who beat Margo DEGRAEF of Belgium (10, 5, 2, 8), Daria TRIGOLOS of Belarus who beat Galia DVORAK of Spain (8, -8, 10, -8, 8, 4), Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia beat Katia KESSACI (9, 3, 4, 9), Andrea TODOROVIC of Serbia overcame Ana CODINA of Argentina (9, 4, 10, 9), Swede Linda BERGSTROM beat another Argentina’s player Camila ARGUELLES (5, 3, 7, 1). In all European duel Sarah DE NUTTE of Luxembourg prevailed against Dora MADARASZ of Hungary (7, 1, 5, -4, 3)

Turkey’s Sibel ALTINKAYA needed only four games to overcame Mabelyn ENRIQUEZ in Houston.

“I want to say that I am happy with my participation in the World Championship in USA. Physically i am feeling okay , my goal was to have a good receive and to attack throughout the whole match. I am happy that I finished with a victory and I am ready for tomorrow's match.”

Bernadette SZOCS beat Pauline VEGA: “I played very well. I am so happy that i was in good shape and that i won my match. Always the first match is hard. But I prepared well , and I concentrate 100% from the first point. I know that she is a good player, so i had to prepare very well.”

Another Romania’s player joined her. Adina DIACONU of Romania overcame Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria 4:3.

“Today’s match was a really hard and taught one as I expected, Sofia is a top and very experienced player . We played this year in European Championships and I lost 4-3 so i knew what i have to expect. I’m looking forward tomorrow and match against Jia Nan YUAN. We never played against each other at International level but we played in French League 2 weeks ago and I won 3-0 but was not as easy as it looks, However I am confident for tomorrow, I enjoy so much here and i m in a good shape,” said Adina.

Also, to round of 64 progressed Andreea DRAGOMAN who beat Anastassiya LAVROVA of Kazakhstan in seven thrilling games, as well as experienced NI Xia Lian of Luxembourg after victory over Jamila LAURENTI of Italy. Amon the winners are Ivana MALOBABIC of Croatia and Tin Tin HO of England.

In Men’s singles, three players from Germany concluded their encounters in straight games. Top 16 Europe Cup winner Patrick FRANZISKA overcame Lubomir PISTEJ of Slovakia (7,5,6,6), Benedikt DUDA beat Harmeet DESAI of India (9,7,7,4), whilst Ruwen FILUS prevailed against Hunor SZOCS of Romania (12,4,6,2). Only DANG Qiu needed five games to overcame Yukiya UDA of Japan (6,9,1,-5,9)

Benedikt DUDA, defeated the Indian Harmeet Desai, with whom he had mostly played close games in the past, and now meets the current number 24 in the World rankings Portuguese Marcos FREITAS. In the past, Duda has always conceded narrow defeats against the Europe Top 16 finalists. That should be different this time: "I'm in a good mood and it is finally time that I win against FREITAS for the first time."

For FRANZISKA, the Olympic bronze medalist, it was "a perfect start to the tournament". In his first encounter with Lubomir PISTEJ he kept the Slovak’s game under control. In order to really only think from round to round and concentrate only on the next game, Patrick has not even looked at his individual draw. "I didn't even know who I was going to play against in the next round," he said after his first individual with a view to Wednesday's match against Canadian Jeremy HAZIN. "So far, nobody has tweeted what my half looks like. I hope it stays that way."

Timo Boll, seeded eighth at the World Championships, was the only German with a bye in the singles. The record European champion will meet Chinese ZHOU Qihao, whom he defeated 4-2 at the German Open in 2019. "He's obviously a very strong opponent for the second round," said BOLL.

Russia’s Kirill SKACHKOV was stretched to full distance in the match against JANG Woojin of Korea (-8, 7, -15, 8, 5, -9, 10). He moved to next round together with Vladimir SIDORENKO who received walk over. Sweden will be represented also by Jon PERSSON who beat Ibrahima DIAW of Senegal in six games and Kristian KARLSSON who overcame HO Kwan Kit of Hong Kong in seven games. WANG Yang of Slovakia prevailed against Ovidiu IONESCU of Romania in straight games but his teammate Cristian PLETEA is still in game after victory over Thai Padasak TANVIRIYAVECHAKUL by same margin. Darko JORGIC of Slovenia overcame Aleksandar KARAKASEVIC of Serbia, whilst Andrej GACINA of Croatia prevailed against FENG Yi-Hsin of Chinese Taipei.

Adam SZUDI of Hungary overcame Khalid ASSAR.

“I started very well in the beginning of the game, I could be aggressive and i was more active in the game. I think this was the key to my victory. Overall I’m really happy that i could win my first match 4:0.”