by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success and success against an opponent who has caused Li Jie problems in the past.
Notably she beat Polina Mikhailova in the TMS 2014 European Team Championships in Lisbon but earlier in the same year she had experienced defeat at the ZEN-NOH World Team Championships in Tokyo.
“I was aware of her attack but I did not want to change anything in my game. I just stuck to my tactics and won. It was four-nil but it was not easy at all. The best players in Europe are here, the rankings are not important in such tournament. It will be difficult to reach the medal rostrum.” Li Jie
Progress for Li Jie as status advised; it was the same for Hungary’s Georgina Pota as play advanced in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event. The no.4 seed, she accounted for Germany’s Petrissa Solja, the no.12 seed and runner up one year ago in Antibes; Georgina Pota emerged victorious in five games (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-4).
Defeat for Petrissa Solja; as the first round of the Men’s Singles event progressed, there was also defeat for compatriot, Ruwen Filus, the no.5 seed. He suffered a somewhat unexpected reverse, he was beaten by Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, the no.12 seed (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8).
“We have never played against each other before but I studied his game. I do not have a lot of opportunities to play against defenders. I played aggressively especially on the first ball and put pressure on him. I was only challenged in the third game, when he came back with good services but I managed withstand any recovery.” Mattias Karlsson.
A place in the last eight for Mattias Karlsson but not for colleague, Kristian Karlsson, the no.4 seed, he experienced defeat against a lower ranked adversary but it was a lower rated opponent of some quality.
He was beaten by four times winner of the Europe Top 12, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.9 seed (10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7).