European Championships

Czech Republic recovered from 2:1 to beat Italy in Havirov

Photo: Courtesy Jaroslav Odstrcilik / Czech Table Tennis Association

Czech Women’s team kept spectators at the edge of their seats in five matches thriller against Italy. In Havirov, hosts recovered after being 2:1 in reverse to win the duel against Italy in Group A2 of the Stage one of the European Championships Team.

The back-bone of Czech Republic’s win was Hana MATELOVA with two wins over Debora VIVARELLI (11:9, 11:13, 8:11, 11;6, 14:12) and Giorgia PICCOLIN (11:2, 11:6, 11:6). Zdena BLASKOVA lost five games thriller against PICCOLIN (11:9, 10:12, 12:10, 10:12, 9:11), but in the decisive match she beat VIVARELLI (9:11, 11:4, 11:4, 11:4). Katerina TOMANOVSKA lost to Nikoleta STEFANOVA (9:11, 9:11, 4:11).

Renata STRBIKOVA commenced her term as head coach with the victory.

"It was my first match as a head coach, and I have to say that the players prepared a really nervous debut for me. But it turned out well, so I'm very happy. First single was very important, when Hana MATELOVÁ played well in the end against Debora VIVARELLI. Then it could have been over when Zdena BLAŠKOVÁ had a match point against Giorgio PICCOLIN. But the Italians returned to the match and I am very happy that Hana MATELOVÁ also managed to record the win in the second individual match. Then Zdena BLAŠKOVÁ also played well without nerves, so I am very satisfied."

Elena TIMINA also pointed at the opening match as a was very important.

"We had a chance to win 3:0, unfortunately MATELOVA won in the close finish at the end of the first match. We were under a lot of pressure because we knew we had to win 3:1 or 3:1 with a good number of games. We still had a chance until the fourth singles match. We have to quickly forget the disappointment and prepare for the next phase of the game."

Italy failed to post any victory in four matches and there is only one left in the Group – between Czech Republic and Portugal tomorrow. Portugal has three wins so far, whilst Czech’s ratio is 1:2.

Photo: Courtesy Jaroslav Odstrcilik / Czech Table Tennis Association