World Championships | 23 Nov 2021
The 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals commenced
The 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals commenced today with the matches in the Men’s and Women’s Singles Event. For the coming week, Houston, Texas, will be the world capital of table tennis. The city will become the first-ever host of the event in the Americas.
The opening stage, Round of 128 already brought fierce dules for the Europeans.Netherlands’ Britt EERLAND, seeded at the position no. 28 recovered from 3:1 in reverse to overcame no. 135 seed, Serbia’s Sabina SURJAN (11:9, 7:11, 11:8, 11:8, 4:11, 7:11, 6:11).
“I needed time to use to the venue the tournament and the match whilst Sabina adapted much easier. I was 3:1 down by pushing it too much. I got frustrated and I had to change the whole approach. I pushed myself ‘just one more point’ and then everything got smoother. I restored my confidence and I fought for my game. I am proud of myself that I fought my way out of being in such big reverse and it gave me extra confidence for the next round,” said EERLAND.
Giorgia PICCOLIN of Italy overcame Yadira SILVA of Mexico (11:8, 3:11, 11:5, 6:11, 9:11, 5:11).
The seed no. 33, Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania managed to play well after the injury. SAMARA overcame Anna WEGRZYN of Poland (6:11, 9:11, 4:11, 8:11).
“I am coming after back injury which requires time to recover and it takes time to reach my top shape, but I am happy that after a month I can already play without pain. First match is always difficult, but I was well prepared. I played against WEGRZYN in Polish League and I knew it what I have to do,” explained SAMARA.
No 42 seed Hana MATELOVA of Czech Republic justified her rankings and overcame Georgina POTA of Hungary, no. 52 seed in four games but much closer than the result predicts (13:11, 11:9, 11:7, 8:11, 11:4).
“I would say it was a great match from my side. It was very important that I won first and second game. They were very close. Here I just want to focus on game and to do my best,” said MATELOVA.
In straight games YUAN Jia Nan of France overcame Cuba’s Daniela ORTEGA (8:11, 5:11, 4:11, 8:11), whilst Natalia BAJOR of Poland prevailed against Belgium’s Nathalie MARCHETTI (5:11, 11:7, 7:11, 8:11, 11:9, 8:11). The list of winner from Europe are extended with the name of Turkey’s Sibel ALTINKAYA who needed only four games to overcame Mabelyn ENRIQUEZ (5:11, 2:11, 7:11, 5:11).
Portugal’s Joao GERALDO overcame Bence MAJAROS of Hungary (7:11, 13:11, 12:14, 11:5, 11:7, 11:8), whilst Swede Anton KALLBERG beat Lubomir JANCARIK of Czech Republic (11:6, 11:4, 11:2, 11:5). Another Portugal’s representative, no. 24 seed Marcos FREITAS overcame England’s Paul DRINKHALL (12:10, 5:11, 10:12, 3:11, 9:11).
“ It was a very tough match. The opening encounter is always hard… It was very interesting to play at the main court; at the table number one. I am very happy with my victory and with my overall performance. DRINKHALL is a very good player , he played very well in past few months. Now I just need to rest and to see who will come against me in the next round,” explained FREITAS.
Paul is out, but his teammate Samuel WALKER recorded opening round victory against Daniel GONZALES of Puerto Rico (11:8, 11:4, 11:8, 8:11, 11:4).
“I feel happy to get through my first match. I thought I played a good enough match to do what I needed to but I need to improve on some things for the next one. The next match against Lebesson will be a hard match so I’m looking forward to a big fight and I’ll be ready for that!” promised WALKER.
Adam SZUDI of Hungary overcame Khalid ASSAR of Egypt ins straight games (2:11, 4:11, 8:11, 9:11). or Robert GARDOS of Austria had much closer encounter against Anders LIND of Denmark, he was stretched to full distance (13:11, 11:8, 8:11, 6:11, 11:5, 8:11, 13:11).
“I started very well, I was calm and I was 2:0 up, despite that he had 5:0 advantage in the opening game and he also had a better start of the second game. I was just calm and managed to produce better game in the finish. At 2:0 and 7:6 for me I lost my focus in some arguing and on the other side he started to play much better. LIND leveled at two all and forced me to change my game. I started to play much more aggressive, faster and simple to win the fifth game, before he raised his game once again. It was very good performance from both of us, especially in the decisive game. LIND had a better start 4:2 but in very fast exchanges and few contra spins from my side I earned 8:4 lead, then 9:7, before we reached 10:10 and in really close finish I won. It was very hard match and I am very tired,” said GARDOS.
Adopting a revamped and expanded format for the first time, the flagship event feature 128 players in singles (Men and Women) and 64 pairs in each of the doubles competitions (Men Doubles, Women Doubles, Mixed Doubles) competing in a straight knockout format.