07 Feb 2017

Defeat in her very first match of the tournament, Chantal Mantz must be delighted that the Women’s Singles event at the Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships was not organised from start to finish on a knock-out basis.

On Sunday 5th February, the closing day of play in the Russian city of Sochi, the 20 year old stood proudly on the top step of the podium.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.3 seed, in an all-German final, she beat colleague, Wan Yuan, the no.8 seed, to claim the title; she emerged successful in six games (8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7), having one round earlier ended the dreams of the host nation.

She accounted for Mariia Tailakova, the no.7 seed, in four straight games (14-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9); in the opposite half of the draw, Wan Yuan had beaten Belgian qualifier, Lisa Lung (11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

It was a far cry from two days earlier when, in her first match of the tournament, Chantal Mantz had been beaten by Croatia’s Dorina Srebrnjak by the very narrowest of margins in a full distance seven games duel (9-11, 3-11, 13-11, 11-2, 15-13, 5-11, 11-9).

Furthermore, she almost departed proceedings in the quarter-finals; after accounting for Romania’s Adina Diaconu, the top seed, in the opening round (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10), she was stretched to the limit by the Czech Republic’s Zdena Baskova (8-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10).

A tough last eight examination, second place the group; on the concluding day of action, it was all’s well that ends well; it was first place.

“It was very difficult. Her backhand is so strong. I had to find a way to stop her. I tried to play more to her forehand and to force her into mistakes”, Chantal Mantz after beating Adina Diaconu

“I felt much better than yesterday. My game was much better but still it was not as easy as the results may suggest. In the two opening games Tailakova was in the lead. She had control and I had to catch up with her. I managed to adjust to her game, I aimed at her body; she likes to stay close to the table and I forced her into the mistakes”, Chantal Mantz reflecting on her semi-final victory

“It was a straight games victory but it was not easy at all. I followed my service with a strong attack and tried to surprise Lisa with my returns. I never let her know where the ball was going. I did not play risky; I tried to keep everything under control and to play safe. However I did not stop attacking and played into the corners to made her less dangerous”, Wan Yuan after overcoming Lisa Lung

Day Four: Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships

Photos: Alex Lomaev – Butterfly

Latest results: Stag European Under 21 Championships.

Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships Chantal Mantz Wan Yuan