Sofia POLCANOVA of Austria secured the third medal at the LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships in Spanish Alicante. After silver in Mixed Doubles Event with Stefan FEGERL and a place in the final of the Women’s Doubles Event, she progressed to the penultimate stage of the Singles Event.
In quarterfinal Sofia overcame Petrissa SOLJA of Germany (10:12, 11:6, 11:9, 11:8, 11:7).
“It is always difficult to play against Peti. She beat me many times before, but after our last encounter I felt I can finally turn around the tables. At6 the World Championships I finally overcame her and tear down the barrier,” explained POLCANOVA.
The opening game went on SOLJA’s account, but then Sofia took the control.
“She is very dangerous and she put me under severe pressure, but I did not let her play her game. I contr4oled the situation.”
Two years ago POLCANOVA reached only the Round of 32 at the European Championships in Budapest.
“I improved my game a lot in past two years. I overcame very difficult time of my life. My father Mihail died from cancer and it took me time to heal the wounds. Now I came back and I came even stronger. Those three medals I dedicate to my father,” said POLCANOVA.
In the semis Austria’s player will meet Margaryta PESOTSKA of Ukraine who succeeded against HAN Ying of Germany (10:12, 9:11, 9:11, 1:4, 11:13).
“It is so hard to play against her defense style. I had to change the rhythm, the tactics constantly in order to find the right way to beat her. Every ball was important,” said PESOTSKA.
In other penultimate match will play Katarzyna GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC of Poland who accounted for Sabine WINTER of Germany (11:3, 11:8, 11:8, 11:8).
“I was very focused. I did not think about anything, except about next ball. I did not even look at the scoreboard,” said GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC.
GRZYBOWSKA-FRANC will have another heavy task in the semis. She qwill meet her compatriot LI Qian. In the last quarterfinal match LI overcame Bernadette SZOCS (9:11, 6;11, 16:14, 6:11, 7:11).
Timo BOLL needed only four games to secure his place in the semi final of the Men’s Singles Event in the match against Daniel HABESOHN (11:3, 11:4, 11:4, 11:9), whilst Patrick FRANZISKA need one more to overcame his compatriot Benedikt DUDA (11:7, 11:3, 7;11, 11:5, 11:9).
“It is getting better and better as the tournament progresses. After close matches in previous two rounds, I felt much better and my confidence is at the higher level,” said BOLL.
FRANZISKA had a tough task to play against teammate but he faced no problems.
“We know each other very well but I was very confident. The key was to attack more and not to let DUDA be very active,” said Patrick. “Now I am looking forward my match against Timo BOLL.”
In other semi final Kristian KARLSSON of Sweden will meet the player who made one of the biggest upset at the Championships - Ovidiu IONESCU of Romania. Ovidiu overcame Vladimir SAMSONOV in full seven game thriller (11:7, 8:11, 10:12, 15:13, 13:11, 6:11, 11:9).
“I am so grateful and happy that I had the opportunity to play among the stars such are Timo BOLL, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV…and to beat SAMSONOV 11:9 in seventh game, in the match for medal, that is tremendous,” said IONESCU.” I do not feel I deserve to win. KI guess the turning point was in the fifth game when I got lucky on some points.”
Marcos FREITAS of Portugal lost against Kristian (8:11, 11:5, 9:11, 5:11, 12:10, 11:6, 8:11).