by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interviews: Elena Dubkova, Wade Townsend)
Home support for Chantal Mantz but it was not sufficient; however, she had her chances. Leading two games to one she maintained a narrowl lead for much of the fourth game and had opportunities to extend her advantage to three-one.
It was not to happen, Adina Diaconu levelled and the momentum of the contest changed; the style of Chantal Mantz is a delight to watch as she extols her top spin play, the problem against Adina Diaconu was that far too often she was forced away from the table. Gradually as the match progressed the Romanian controlled matters.
“It was a very difficult first match playing in the big hall. I knew it would be hard as last time we played I lost. I was more focused now on what I had to do and had very good tactics”, Adina Diaconu.
Defeat for Chantal Mantz but in the guise of Sabine Winter, there was success; she accounted for Croatia’s Mateja Jeger (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10)
“I was happy to have quite a clear win and that it wasn’t too much of a test for my mental nerves; but I hope to keep playing better.” Sabine Winter
Success for Sabine Winter but she did find concentration a problem, she was playing on the very next table to Chantal Mantz.
“Normally you shouldn’t watch, but if I’m honest I did had a look a couple of times, but not too often!” Sabine Winter
Focus, one player who was focused as play commenced on the third day of action was China’s Ding Ning, the top seed and defending champion. She accounted for Daria Trigolos of Belarus in four straight games (11-4, 11-2, 11-3, 11-4).
The end of the road for Daria Trigolos but losing to arguably the best player in the world on one of the four show courts was an experience never to be forgotten.
“I enjoyed the match with Ding Ning. In the beginning of the match, I knew that will be very difficult to win even one game. During the match I didn’t think about her titles, I was trying to show my best.” Daria Trigolos.
Every player is a player; the experience may well put Daria Trigolos in good stead for the future.