European Championships

WINTER and SAMARA survived tough challenges

The top seeded player in the Women's Singles Event at the European Championships in Munich, HAN Ying booked her place in the Round of 16 without due alarm. In straight games HAN beat Cristina KALLBERG of Sweden (11:9, 11:6, 11:4, 11:4).

HAN Ying has the bronze from European Championships in Austria 2013.

“I have never played against Cristina, but I was aware how dangerous she could be. That is why the opening game was the most difficult to me. I needed the time to feel her game, to use the right tactics. She is good with the players with defensive style of play,” said HAN.

In the Round of 16, HAN will meet her teammate Sabine WINTER, who survived epic seven games thriller against Irina CIOBANU of Romania (7:11, 10:12, 11:7, 7:11, 11:6, 12:10, 12:10).

“I wanted so much to record the win here in front of my people. I already had unsatisfied result in mixed doubles and doubles that I put myself under great pressure. Nothing worked in my favor, but I kept on fighting and trying,” said WINTER.

Hana MATELOVA of Czech Republic faced earlier exit than her rankings predict. Italy's Giorgia PICOLIN, seed no. 23, was in charge for the morning upset and departure of no. 5 seed MATELOVA 4:2 (9:11, 11;9, 11:8, 11:6, 8:11, 11:8).

“We met maybe once in 2014, but it was so long ago that was not very helpful today. Since then I improve my game a lot. However I had an opportunity to see a lot of her games, especially in the French League,” said PICOLIN.”The biggest challenge today was to prevent myself of rushing into the points. I needed to calm down and to play point by point, and that was not an easy task. When I fell I could win I go for direct points usually, I am trying to finish it quick. Today, at 3:1 it almost cost me a lot, but even when I lost the fifth game I did not want to let her set into the game comfortable. I was fighting very strong and in next I managed to finish the match. Few balls in sixth game after 7:3 were dangerous but I stayed on the winning track.”

After yesterday's win over YU Fu of Portugal, Sabina SURJAN of Serbia cleared her way in the Round of 32. Win over Karoline MISCHEK of Austria was very effective and quick 4:0 (11:8, 11:7, 11:9, 11:6).

“Usually, when I am the favorite in the match I am not relaxed at all. I feel the great pressure. However, today it was different. The win over FU Yu gave me great dose of confidence and I played relaxed,” said SURJAN.

Tatiana KUKULKOVA of Slovakia overcame Tetyana BILENKO of Ukraine 4:1 (11:4, 11:8, 11:4, 5:11, 11:7). SHAN Xiaona of Germany beat Poland's Katarzyna WEGRZYN 4:0 (11:9, 11:4, 11:3, 11:7).

“I played much better that yesterday against Tania PLAIAN. After so long time of not having the spectators in the venue I was overwhelmed with noice I was listening and found hard to focus on the play. Today it was much better, I was little nervous, but not to much. In addition, we never played against each other before and that always work in my favor. For my adversaries is hard to read my style of play,” said SHAN.

SHAN will meet Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania who beat Dora MADARASZ of Hungary 4:3 (11:8, 6:11, 11:5, 17:19, 7:11, 13:11, 11:8). At 3:2 SAMARA saved three match balls, before she recovered to win the match.

“Dora is my “nightmare” adversary. I told her that. We are good friends off the field, but in the arena, I do not like to play against her. In previous occasions in Minsk and Singapore she beat me 3:0, I was left without the chance in those duels. That is why she had advantage today, but it was open game.In the moments when I faced the match balls I managed to calm down, I got the support from the tribunes and it all worked well. I was calm and focused on each point,” said SAMARA.

Austria's Sofia POLCANOVA overcame Tin Tin HO of England in five games (11:9, 11:9, 1:9, 9:11, 11:8) , whilst Prithika PAVADE of France lost thrilling seven games match against NI Xia Lian 3:4 (11:2, 11:8, 9:11, 7:11, 11:9, 2:11, 5:11). NI will meet Bernadette SZOCS of Romania. Romania's player overcame Georgina POTA of Hungary in straight games (11:7, 11:7, 11:8, 11:3).

Natalia PARTYKA faced the match point in the decisive seventh game, but she managed to recover to win her duel (11:2, 11:6, 7:11, 11:6, 9:11, 5:11, 12:10).

Partyka was leading 3:1 in games and 9:7 in fifth game when Hana changed the course of the match.

“Well, that is the beauty of the table tennis. I was watching CIOBANU in my room of coming back from 1:3 and 3:8, I saw Timo also recovering from being behind in the match against our Samuel...that is it, you have to play all 11 points,” said Natalia.” It should of been 4:1 for me, but Hana proved it wrong.”

At 3:3, ARAPOVIC had match balls at 10:6, but PARTYKA maintained her patience to win.

“She was under big stress and I was calm. Hana needed just one ball, but sometimes it is so far,” said PARTYKA.

Nina MITTELHAM overcame WAN Yuan her teammate from the German team 4:1 (11:2, 11:6, 11:3, 9:11, 12:10), YUAN Jianan of France beat Natalia BAJOR of Poland 4:1 (11:9, 11:6, 11:6, 9:11, 11:6). Andreea DRAGOMAN progressed to the next round after victory over Linda BERGSTROM of Sweden 4:1 (11:9, 4:11, 16:14, 11:9, 11:7).

The very last to book her place in top 16 were Margaryta PESOTSKA of Ukraine. She beat Maria XIAO of Spain (11:8, 3:11, 11:8, 11:7, 8:11, 11:6).