Europe Top-16 Cup

Darko JORGIC and HAN Ying clinched titles in Montreux

After breathtaking finals Darko JORGIC of Slovenia and HAN Ying of Germany clinched the gold medals in their respective Men's and Women's Event at the 2022 CCB Europe Top 16 Cup. It was fantastic finish of two days battles in Montreux.

Truls MOREGARDH – Darko JORGIC 3:4 (11:8, 11:5, 9:11, 12:10, 1:11, 10:12, 10:12)

Darko JORGIC recovered from the 3:1 in reverse to win the final against Swede Truls MOREGARDH who beat Timo BOLL just few hours earlier.

“I could not find the game for his service and first strokes. I struggled a lot before i managed to make my forehand deep and to push him,” said JORGIC.

For Darko JORGIC (23) it his 3rd appearance and 2nd final (2020), whilst for MOREGARDH it is first. The 2021 World Championships finalist was a substitute player. oHe is nr.7 in Europe but had 2 Swedish countrymen ahead of him and only got his chance when Matias FALCK had to cancel.

JORGIC is the first Slovenian to win this event. He won the youngest final in the history of the Top12/Top16,since the two players being together only 43 years.

Truls Möregardh is one of the youngest finalists ever. The youngest finalist was also the youngest winner: Jan Ove WALDNER (18) in 1984. The second youngest winner was Jörgen PERSSON (19) in 1986, during this event acting as coach of Truls MOREHARDH.

Polina MIKHAILOVA – HAN Ying 0:4 (8:11, 12:14, 11:13, 7:11)

In the final HAN Ying overcame Russia's Polina MIKHAILOVA in straight games.

“The win came far from easy. I was down in three games each time until the closing stages. I had to be very patient, but I made mistakes by rushing and trying to finish the points quickly,” said HAN.

HAN was the member of the team Germany that won gold at the European Games in Baku and Minsk and at European Championships in Schwechat, Lisbon and n Yekaterinburg. In singles she got bronze.

Here in Montreux HAN said she was under severe pressure in the final, but yesterday's duel against Elizabeta SAMARA of Romania was equally difficult.

“SAMARA played so well against me and generally against the players with the defensive style,” said HAN.

This is HAN's second appearance at a Europe Top 16 Cup, in 2019 she lost in quarterfinal. On the other side, for Polina MIKHAILOVA it was 8th appearance (2015-2022) in Top 16, best result so far was place 9 (5 times), never reached the quarterfinal or beyond.

Although both players are basically defenders, both have strong attacks and are not afraid to use it. The final was never near the start of the expedite system. That is why the final was not as long as the previous 2 Top 12/Top16 finals between two defenders (2009 Li Qian - Li Jie and 1999 Qianhong Gotch - Jing Tian Zörner).

HAN Ying is now the oldest winner of a Top 12/Top 16 in the history of the event. She won at 38 years and 10 months, breaking LI Jiao's record (38 and 1 month at her last victory in 2011).

Photo: Rémy Gros

Semifinals

Timo BOLL – Truls MOREGARDH 1:4 (7:11, 8:11, 12:14, 11:7, 6:11)

World Championship's semi finalists met again after few months and Truls MOREGARDH repeated the success even in more convincing manner. Last time they met in the semifinal of World Championships it was 4:3 for Truls MOREGARDH but in this semi final in Montreux he beat BOLL in five games.

“I learned a lot about BOLL's service game so I was able to respond more precise. I am aware that you can not let BOLL lead the game. If he start to control it, it is the end. That is why I changed the tactics, even when it was not much successful it worked just fine in order to keep BOLL out of his rhythm. I tried to confuse him. In addition his heavy spin game suits me well,” said Truls MOREGARDH.

 

Darko JORGIC – Patrick FRANZISKA 4:1 (13:11, 11:9, 11:13, 11:6, 11:9)

Reigning champion Patrick FRANZISKA is out of the tournament beaten by his club-mate Darko JORGIC.

“This is the first time that I overcame him and I am very happy. It is so hard to do when you play against the players you know so well. In the beginning of three first games, I was to passive, I waited for his mistakes for long. As soon as I took initiative I regained control and I started to win,”said JORGIC.

Bernadette SZOCS – HAN Ying 0:4 (5:11, 5:11, 2:11, 6:11)

HAN Ying faced no difficulties on her way to the ultimate stage against Bernadette SZOCS.

“I think her style worked just fine for me today. She could not find the game for my spin,” said HAN.

Sofia POLCANOVA – Polina MIKHAILOVA 2:4 (11:9, 9:11, 13:11, 7:11, 7:11, 4:11)

Polina MIKHAILOVA prevailed against top seed top reach the final in superb style.

“In Hungarian League was different, but on International scene it was 50:50. The main thing is that I felt the ball well from the beginning. I could easily attack and defend and that makes me dangerous for each adversary,” said Polina MIKHAILOVA.

 

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