By Neha Aggarwal
Against USA’s Wu Yue earlier in the day, Samara looked baffled. She had to flex every inch of her muscle in the body to surpass over the American. The match was a good display of on the table attacks. She had not expected Wu to put up such a good show. Samara struggled to win 4-2.
However, an hour later, she appeared to be a different player altogether. She was to compete against Shen Yanfei (ESP), the veteran who beat her in straight games at the 2016 ITTF Europe Top 16 in Women’s singles semi-finals. Samara was spotted in the training hall practising her backhand topspins with full dedication.
“I knew Shen will play to my backhand only. I was prepared.” said Samara after knocking down Shen in a score-line that speaks a thousand words. She beat the Spaniard in four straight games.
Shen was probably not at her best form. Although Shen executed her forehand smashes powerfully every time she had an opportunity, Samara always had answers to those dreadful shots.
Then there were times when the ball touched the net and touched the edge of the table. Samara showed slight anger to those, but not enough to break her tempo.
“I am not in my best mood, I am jet lagged. I don’t want it to be a reason, however I am trying my best. I was able to make good rallies. I am really happy, I did not expect that I will win 4-0.”- Elizabeta Samara.
Having the right mindset is the key to success. Samara’s poised outlook and calmness at each point shows that she had the right “mindset”.
Samara thus qualifies for the round of 16 to be played later in the day. She looks determined and prepared. The spins executed in her backhand openings is phenomenal. The ability to play powerful off the table is commendable.
On the top of these skills, she is level headed, calm and fully focused. She has a plan in mind.
“I was the finalist in 2012, and now without Chinese, everyone has a chance to lift the Cup. I am going to give my best.”
Yes, with a combination of these attributes, Samara is not dreaming. If she continues this incredible form, who knows, she might write her name in history books.
Follow her matches LIVE on ITTF.com/ittv.