Champions League Women | 27 Mar 2024

ETIVAL ASRTT secured opening leg win in Czechia

Photo: Courtesy Jaroslav Odstrcilik / Czech Table Tennis Association

The first leg of the Champions League Women's semi-final ended in favor of French team ETIVAL ASRTT. Despite a valiant effort from SKST Plus Hodonín in Czechia, the visitors emerged victorious.

Both opening matches, featuring Sakura MORI against Marie MIGOT and Natalia PARTYKA versus Jieni SHAO, went full distance. The only victory for the Czech team came from Karin GROFOVA in her match against Camelia IACOB. However, Jieni SHAO secured the decisive win over Sakura MORI in her second exit to the table.

"The 3-1 victory sets us up well for the second leg. We started with great focus because Hodonín boasts a quality team. The first singles match was crucial, with Marie MIGOT narrowly clinching victory in the fifth game. I'm particularly pleased that SHAO Jieni secured two points," stated Etival ASRTT coach Jerome HUMBERT.

MIGOT expressed delight with the crowd and atmosphere in Czechia but admitted needing time to adjust to the conditions.

"Here in the hall, the balls and especially the tables are different from what I'm used to practicing on. In the first game, I felt that the ball wasn't moving as I expected. I had to adjust my tactics to find my rhythm. The atmosphere in the hall was a great boost; I'm not fond of empty stands and small venues. The audience was fantastic. As for the fifth game, I thrive in those situations. This year, I've played three fifth games and won all three. It's about finding the right mindset and going for the win. A net or two might happen, but a player mustn't lose focus," explained Marie MIGOT.

Reigning champions KTS Enea Siarkopol Tarnobrzeg have already secured their spot in the final.

SKST Plus Hodonín - ETIVAL ASRTT 1-3

Sakura MORI - Marie MIGOT 2-3 (11-2, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 2-6)

Natalia PARTYKA - Jieni SHAO 2-3 (8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 0-6)

Karin GROFOVA - Camelia IACOB 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-7)

Sakura MORI - Jieni SHAO 1-3 (7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 9-11)