by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Selecting Ekaterina Zironova and Elizabet Abraamian for the singles contests, followed by Nataliya Malanina and Arina Slautina in the doubles, a three-nil win was posted against Spain’s Ainhoa Cristobel and Emma Ruiz.
A successful start, in their second engagement of the day with Nataliya Malanina and Arina Slautina resigned to the bench; a similar margin of victory was recorded in opposition Hungary, who fielded Helga Dari and Anita Drabant in the singles, with Veronika Menko and Viola Phan competing in the doubles.
Similarly, the French duo of Camille Lutz and Prithika Pavade, the no.2 seeds, recorded three-nil victories against the Belarus pairing of Daria Kisel and Ulyana Arlouskaya, followed by the same margin of victory in opposition to Turkey’s Ece Harac, Osge Yimak, Betul Toz and Sükran Cangir, the latter two forming the doubles pair.
The victory against Belarus was arguably more convincing than anticipated, the win recorded by Prithika Pavade against Ulyana Arlouskaya in the second match of the fixture (12-10, 11-3, 11-9) after Camille Lutz had beaten Darya Kisel (11-9, 11-6, 11-8) swayed the momentum inexorably in favour of France.
“I do not play often against players with the defensive style. Today I had to play against defenders in both, singles and doubles match. Fortunately I felt good.” Prithika Pavade.
Similarly, selecting from Anastasia Bondareva, Sophia Klee, Jana Kirner and Tu Wenna; Germany the no.3 seeds, enjoyed a fruitful day. In their opening fixture, they overcame England’s Charlotte Bardsley and Megan Gidney by three matches to one, the player to cause the Germans problems being Charlotte Bardsley, who beat Anastasia Bondareva (8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4).
A hard fought opening encounter, in their second endeavour, they recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Kristyna Penkovova.
“The body language of my team was very good and they stuck to the tactics. We feel like small family. They won because they were very good on service, receive, first attacks and they moved very well. We did not have the weak spot.” Lara Broich, German coach
A test for the Germans against England; it was a more severe test for Romania’s Luciana Mitrofan and Elena Zaharia, the no.3 seeds.
After recording a three-nil win against Croatia’s Hana Arapovic, Zara Ilic and Hanna Loncarevic; they needed the full five matches to overcome Ukraine’s Anasatasiia Dymytrenko and Iolanta Yevtodi.
Furthermore, they were required to recover from a two matches to nil deficit to secure victory.
Luciana Mitrofan was beaten by Anasatasiia Dymytrenko (11-4, 11-13, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7), before Elena Zaharia suffered the same fate in opposition to Iolanta Yevtodi (9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9). Two close defeats; a straight games doubles result was recorded (11-7, 11-5, 11-6), before the results of the two opening contests were reversed.
Elena Zaharia overcame Anasatasiia Dymytrenko (9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 12-10), before in an equally close contest Luciana Mitrofan defeated Iolanta Yevtodi (9-11, 3-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-8) to conclude matters.
“I have the good feeling for the ball here; I play very well. In addition our team spirit is very high. We understand each other well. We were in the game 100 percent for each point.” Elena Zaharia
In the concluding group stage fixtures, Russia meets Slovenia, France opposes Poland; Romania confronts Sweden whilst Germany plays Greece.
Stag 2017 European Youth Championships: Results – Friday 14th July