Adam Szudi, the hero of the hour, the very late hour, for Hungary
Photo By: Richard Kalocsai
The clock moved slowly beyond 1.00am, as one of the hardest fought Junior Boys’ Team events in the history of the ITTF Junior Circuit came to a close.
Adam Szudi eventually overcame Kilian Ort in a titanic struggle to secure victory for Hungary over Germany in the early hours of Saturday 10th March 2012 at the Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano.
Success for Adam Szudi gave Hungary, the no.1 seeds, a three-two win over Germany in a contest where he was very much the architect of victory.
Two wins for Adam Szudi
In the opening encounter on the evening of Friday 9th March 2012, he beat Benedikt Duda (11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8), before overcoming Kilian Ort in the concluding match (7-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 11-7).
Two wins from Adam Szudi, the one further success came from Marton Szita in the third match of the fixture; he beat Qiu Dang (11-8, 11-3, 11-7).
Meanwhile, for Germany, both Kilian Ort and Bendikt Duda both accounted for Tamas Lakatos, the former in five games (11-8, 3-11, 6-11, 14-12, 11-8), the latter in four games (11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4).
Top Seeds Win, Germany Suffers
Success for the top seeds in the Junior Boys’ Team event and it was success for the top seeds in the Junior Girls’ Team competition with Germany, once again having to settle for runners up spot.
In a contest involving the top two seeded teams, it was the no.1 seeds, Croatia who prevailed; they posted a three-one success in the final.
Germany made the better start with Nina Mittelham accounting for Mateja Jeger (11-7, 13-11, 11-5) but that was the end of German success.
Ivana Tubikanec accounted for Yuko Imamura (11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7), Lea Rakovac defeated Theresa Kraft (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9) with Mateja Jeger bringing matters to a conclusion by inflicting a second defeat on Yuko Imamura (11-7, 11-8, 11-5).
Success for the top seeds in both the Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Team events but both were severely tested en route to the final.
At the quarter-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Team event, the Hungarians were stretched the full five match distance by Croatia with Luka Fucec the player to cause the problems. He beat Adam Szudi (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 15-13) and Tamas Lakatos (11-5, 11-8, 11-9).
However, success in the opening match for Tamas Lakatos in opposition to Tomislav Pucar (11-4, 6-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5) and for Adam Szudi in the concluding match against the same player (11-9, 11-13, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6); coupled with success for Adam Szita when facing Filip Zeljko in the third contest (12-10, 11-9, 11-6), secured a place in the semi-finals for the champions elect.
Similarly, in the penultimate round against the outfit comprising Germany’s Qiu Dang and Marc Rode in partnership with Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, it was not plain sailing.
Marc Rode accounted for Tamas Lakatos in the second match of the contest (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6) but victory for Adam Szudi over Qiu Liang in the opening duel (11-7, 11-9, 11-6), plus wins for Marton Szita over Brian Afanador (11-8, 11-0, 8-11, 11-6) and for Tamas Lakatos when facing Qiu Liang (11-6, 11-9, 11-8) secured a Hungarian win.
Meanwhile, the Junior Girls’ Team event, the path the final was even tougher; full distance wins were the order of the day at both the quarter and semi-final stages.
Wins from Mateja Jeger in the first and last matches of the quarter-final duel against Poland, beating Sandra Wabik (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-6) and Paulina Nowacka (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11), proved the backbone of Croatian success.
The one further win for Croatia came in the third match of the fixture thanks to Lea Rakovac; she beat Natalia Bajor (15-13, 7-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4), with the two wins for Poland coming at the expense of Ivana Tubikanec.
Paulina Nowacka recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcame the Croatian teenager in five games (13-15, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6); whilst Sandra Wabik succeeded in four games (11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 14-12).
Mateja Jeger Again in Form
A close quarter-final duel, the semi-final was just as testing against France, with once again Masteja Jeger steering Croatia home.
In the second match of the contest she beat Laura Pfefer (11-7, 11-9, 11-8) before in the last match, keeping her colleagues on the very edges of their seats, by recovering from a two games to nil deficit to beat Sarah Berge (6.11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
The one remaining Croatian win was secured by Lea Rakovac in the opening match of the duel against Sara Berge (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8), with the wins for France coming from Estelle Debonne against Ivana Tubikanec (11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4) in the third match of the affair and from Lauras Pfefer over Lea Rakovac (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 17-15) in the following match to level proceedings.
Alas for France the comeback was not to be completed, Mateja Jeger ended such hopes but it was close, very close indeed.
A late night, or early morning; whatever Croatia and Hungary slept well.