European Championships

ISTRATE and MITROFAN clinched the title in Mixed Doubles

New champions of the Mixed Doubles Event at the European Under 21 Championships are Andrei Teodor ISTRATE and Luciana MITROFAN. In the final they overcame Lilian BARDET and Prithika PAVADE of France. Bronze medalists are Csaba ANDRAS and Helga DARI of Hungary and Darius MOVILEANU and Elena ZAHARIA of Romania.

In the final ISTRATE and MITROFAN needed only four games the seal the victory (7, -5, 6, 5).

Luciana MITROFAN said:“We were expecting to play a difficult match, but again and again we believed in each other, we trusted in our own abilities and skills. We worked and prepared very hard for this competition.”

Andrei ISTRATE added: “In the begining of the competition we were outsiders and here we are now winning the gold medal. After wining the semifinal I told Luciana we have got nothing to lose. Going back to our previous matches at these Championships I may consider that it was a miracle to win in th quarters after we were down 0-2. I guess that was a key moment during our previous matches. Now we dare to hope that, who knows, hopefully we will win a medal at the World Championships. And of course what about an Olympic medal, the dream of any player.”

Romania's pairings playing together in doubles since few years but this is their very first major result.

“Last year at the European Juniors Championships our performance was rather poor. But for this competition we worked very very hard. It seems that it paid off,” said Luciana MITROFAN.

In the semi final BARDET and PAVADE beat Csaba ANDRAS and Helga DARI of Hungary (5, 5, 7).

“I think we played a very solid game from the very first point to the last one. We managed to find and use the best tactic. It was a really good match for us,”said Prithika PAVADE.

BARDET explained:”We played a really good match. We were better at service, receive and first ball so, I think that is why we won the match. It looked like an easy one because we played on the safe side of the game. The gold medal is in sight and we will fiercely fight for the European title.”

In the other semi final match, Andrei Teodor ISTRATE and Luciana MITROFAN prevailed against teammates Darius MOVILEANU and Elena ZAHARIA (7, -2, 10, -5, 2).

“Yesterday evening we managed to win after we were down 0-2 and we were so happy to reach the semifinal. We woke up this morning with a fresh spirit and it seems that we played well the match against Darius and Elena. When I was serving it was a little bit difficult for us, however, when Darius served to Cami it was more difficult because Cami was worried when receiving Darius’s serves. When the score was 2-2 at the beginning of the final game, I encouraged Cami to be more focused. We changed the table when we led 5-2 and we managed to win the game and the match. We knew that Darius and Elena were the favorites but we didn’t care. We fought at our best so we reached the final,” said Andrei ISTRATE

Luciana MITROFAN added: “As Andrei said, when Darius served I did not know how to receive his serves. I was a little bit nervous, I did not know what to do but in the final game I was more focused and I told myself “common it’s the final game I trust that we can win”. We believed in ourselves so we did it.”