European Championships | 17 Oct 2012
Michael MAZE: “I am here to win”
Before the European Championships in Denmark Michael MAZE radiate with confidence. Player who already clinched the title in singles in Stuttgart 2009 and has won gold in Team’s Event in Aarhus in 2005 will be the leader of the host nation’s team in Hernin
Before the European Championships in Denmark Michael MAZE radiate with confidence. Player who already clinched the title in singles in Stuttgart 2009 and has won gold in Team’s Event in Aarhus in 2005 will be the leader of the host nation’s team in Herning.
It seams that he finally left behind the painful experience with the injury which jeopardized his career. After three years of struggling MAZE is back in great style. Realated to his latest success and performance which launched him to the quarterfinal of the Olympic Games in London earlier this year MAZE’s ambitions are very high again. Speaking about his aims in Denmark, he was clear: “I’m here to win.”
London gave him new confidence. “In London, I think proved to myself and my opponents that I am back in the game. I played really well against MIZUTANI who ranked 5th in the World in London. Jun has been one of the most consistent players in the past years and even though I do not think I reached my best in the quarter final against OVTCHAROV, we still had a very close match in seven games and 11-9 in the last game. I made a few bad decisions in the last set and lost at the end,” said MAZE.
However painful it was, the defeat helped MAZE. “That defeat still hurt but it showed me that I can still perform well against the best players even when I do not play at my best. That is very important to have on my mind during the championships in Herning,” Michael MAZE said.
MAZE played in the World Cup in Liverpool in September and as the player ranked as no. 21 in the World, won his three group matches against Germany’s OVTCHAROV (9th in the World), JOO Saehyuk from Korea (11th in the World) and Brazilian MONTEIRO.
He then came across China’s Ma Long (2nd in the World rankings) and in MAZE’S third match of the day Long was too strong and won in four sets. MA Long played a great tournament and win the semi final and the final without losing a game. Again, MAZE stepped up against the best and boosted his confidence.
MAZE advanced to position 15th in the October World rankings and he is 4th seed in Herning. His confidence is high and he competes in Herning for one, single reason: To win. “I’ve played against the best at the Olympics and World Cup in 2012 and that’s what I want to improve my game. I learn a lot from both victories and defeat and these big tournaments have great value for me because I meet the best. I feel that when I play against the best I am back on my best level that I had before all the injuries and that give me great confidence and belief that I once again can win big tournaments. I have played really well at the Olympics and World Cup and the weeks leading up to the Championships it is all about staying fit and prepare well. I play to win in Herning. I have done it before and I know that I can beat the rest if I play my best,” MAZE says.
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Photo: Michael MAZE (Photo Lomaev)