European Championships | 19 Aug 2022
Three medals for Germany in Women's Singles
Four players in Women's Singles Event at the European Championships in Munich already secured medals and three of them are from Germany. Who will go on higher step of the medal rostrum, we will know after the tomorrow's matches in the semi final. In the penultimate stage Sabine WINTER of Germany will meet Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria and in other semi final Nina MITTELHAM will meet SHAN Xiaona.
In the quarter final Nina MITTELHAM overcame YUAN Jianan of France in breathtaking seven games thriller (13:11, 5:11, 5:11, 11:7, 8:11, 11:9, 11:6)
"I still ca not believe it. Right now I am just really happy that I was able to win. We'd played once before, it was also a really close match, but I knew that if I try to play ball by ball I will get my chance. YUAN played really well and was not making any easy mistakes so I really had to go for every ball. At the end the spectators gave me the last energy to survive and now I am just really happy to get a medal. It's my first singles medal and after the doubles and mixed doubles which was not going so well it's really a nice feeling,” said Nina.
Three Germans making it to the semifinals: "It is crazy. I think before nobody was thinking that three Germans would be in the semifinals, even though we were seeded first, second and fourth. To play the matches and go to the semifinals is so difficult, there are so many good players in the draw and if you lose one match you're out. I think that to win a medal at the Europeans is the most difficult medal you can get."
It has its disadvantages too. Nina will face SHAN in next round.
"Before the tournament, if somebody would say that we would play a semifinal I would directly sign it, but in general I would like to play with someone else.I think we both deserve to be in the semifinal, we know each other quite well and we play in the same club team, in Berlin. We don't know what will happen tomorrow but I think we both will go for it."
SHAN Xiaona also kept the spectators at the edge of their seats in full distance match against SHAO Jieni of Portugal (9:11, 14:12, 11:6, 10:12, 11:8, 9:11, 11:8).
Day earlier Bernadette SZOCS of Romania and POLCANOVA clinched gold in the Doubles together, today they faced each other to determine who will win the medal in the Singles After 6 games it was POLCANOVA who booked her place in the semi final (11:4, 4:11, 11:8, 11:6, 6:11, 11:5).
"Right now I'm just so tired. Yesterday we won gold together, today we must play against each other, the schedule is also crazy. If you play in all three events, today we played at 14:15 and then at 18:20, there's no time even for lunch. This is a very difficult tournament, but I made it. I don't think that I've yet realized that I've got a medal, because tomorrow is a new day. I still can't believe it so much because I'm really tired right now."
On playing Bernadette SZOCS less than 24 hours after they won the women's doubles gold medal together:
"It was a very difficult match for both of us. I don't think that we played at our highest level today, either of us, we can play a lot better. It was just about concentration and mental preparation. I think that in some little things – small points to keep the concentration – I was a little bit better today and I had luck on my side."
On her semifinal opponent, Sabine WINTER:
"She is a very good friend of mine. She was made of honor at my wedding and we understand each other very well and look forward to a good match tomorrow."
Sabina WINTER overcame Giorgia PICCOLIN on her way to the medal rostrum (11:9, 11:8, 11:7, 11:6).
"After a bit of a disappointment at the start of this tournament, in mixed doubles and doubles where it did not work out with a medal, it's great that I somehow still got a medal here in Munich, in singles. This was like a dream for me, it came true and I'm happy about it. I thought that my biggest chance was in the doubles.Then that didn't work so of course the pressure got a bit bigger because I thought that these European championships, in Munich where I grew up, should be something special and I didn't want to mess it up. I wanted to have it as a nice memory and now I will have Munich 2022 as a nice memory."
The match against PICCOLIN lasted only four games.
"I prepared well, we've already played a few times in the German Bundesliga, I knew that I could win and if I played my game that I would win, that it's important that my head stays clear, that I believe in myself and play my game. I managed this, I coped well with the pressure and it's great that I won it 4-0 and not as close as yesterday beating Irina Ciobanu 4-3 ."
On playing her friend Sofia POLCANOVA in the semifinal:
"She is a very, very good player, she has already had a lot of success playing a great tournament so far with a gold in doubles and a bronze in mixed doubles, so she's in good shape. But I believe that if I play very well I will maybe get my chance. I just do my best and then I see what comes out of it."
Due the back injury top seed in the Women's Singles Event, HAN Ying of Germany was forced to withdrew in the Round of 16. She already felt the pain yesterday. Sabine WINTER moved to the quarterfinal.
German team MD Dr Thomas Garn stated:
"Ying sustained a muscular injury on her back in the lumbar region while warming up in the practice hall, which we then treated. After that she gave it a try. But she realized that it wasn't working and stopped. We will know all the details when we do the MRI."
In fantastic seven games thriller Bernadette SZOCS of Romania who already clinched gold in Doubles and silver in Mixed Doubles, reached the Round of 16 in Singles (0:11, 16:18, 9:11, 11:8, 11:8, 11:7, 16:14). At the end of this marathon SZOCS bursted into tears of joy and exhaustion.
“ For me this was like a final, because I came back from 3-0. I was so disappointed that I started with a 3-0 deficit again. But I had one goal in this tournament. My dream is to take a medal and I said to myself that 'I cannot give up, I will think that it is 0-0', and from that moment I played unbelievably good. I played very calm, I didn't scream anymore, then I won the points because I felt that I was losing a lot of energy when I was screaming. So I changed my tactics a little bit and played really good after that,” said SZOCS. “I never beat her, it is the first time I beat her, and this gives me a lot of power. I have a lot of confidence in me and I know that my place is in the semifinals.”
Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia lost to Giorgia PICCOLIN of Italy 1:4 (7:11, 10:12, 3:11, 11:9, 2:11). Sofia POLCANOVA overcame Natalia PARTYKA of Poland 4:2 (12:10, 6:11, 11:7, 6:11, 13:11, 11:7). SHAN Xiaona of Germany overcame Elizabeta SAMARA in straight games (11:7, 11:5, 11:9, 11:9), whilst SHAO Jieni of Portugal beat Sabina SURJAN of Serbia (11:8, 9:11, 11:7, 7:11, 14:12, 12:20).