By Neha Aggarwal
It was a nightmare for Germany’s Petrissa Solja, ranked 15th in the world and seeded no.13 in Women’s Singles draw. Szandra Pergel of Hungary is ranked at no.99 and seeded 55th in the tournament.
It was a most disappointed Petrissa Solja.
“At the beginning I had everything under control, and in the second set I was also leading. But there was one moment where the umpire said I was doing wrong service. From that moment I lost my concentration and felt unsafe with my game because I had to change with backhand service. I am usually I’m not doing this often,” she said.
Solja won the first game 11-4 but from the second game onwards, clearly nothing went her way.
“I was insecure, I just kept wondering how she would receive my serve, I lost concentration,” said Solja as she broke down into tears.
“I think its not fair, because when they have workshops for the umpires they take the top players and they watch and analyze their videos. The umpire faulted my serves many times because of that. I think it’s not fair. Szandra is not on this list. Is it my problem that I am a good player? Do they teach this to the umpires in the workshops?” – Petrissa Solja
With a heavy heart, she continued, ” I had no concentration after that, I tried to calm down but…My coach said to focus and try, but I couldn’t play any more.”
“The umpire said that I am hiding the serve with my hand, but in reality, everyone could see that I was right. Even Szandra was surprised. They have no feelings.” – – Petrissa Solja
Solja is the highest ranked German, all eyes were on her, she is certainly disturbed by this loss. She left the interview in tears, clearly under shocked with what she had to undergo.
On the other hand, Pergel was elated by her win. She merrily said, ” I think it was a hard fought match because she play so strong both sides, but I tried to slow the game down. This was my first match in this hall, I took time to adjust, but got used to the conditions soon.”
Pergel had to battle the crowd support for the German, especially after the situation Solja explained. “All the support from the crowd was for her, but I tried to close it out from my mind. I tried to play slow, and the middle, and then changed the balls to her forehand side,” she said.
“I never thought I could beat her. I don’t even know whom I will play next, I am just so happy at the moment” -Szandra Pergel
For Solja, a dream was shattered tonight in Düsseldorf. Shocked, sad and teary eyed Solja departed the Messe arena in pain.
It should be noted that there was no complaint regarding any umpiring decision from the German Table Tennis Association.