by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Crucially, in the second match of the fixture, she overcame Alexandra Privalova (11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8), before in the vital fifth match of the contest accounting for the defensive skills of Viktoria Pavlovich (11-8, 11-3, 12-10).
“I like to play against players with the defensive style of play. I have a lot of opportunities to practise this kind of game. It was very close game but I knew I had to play until the last point. You must never give up. I stayed focused until the end.” Yana Noskova
Fine performances from Yana Noskova but her heroics would not have been possible had it not been for the success recorded by Polina Mikhailova in opposition to Alexandra Privalova in the fourth match of the fixture. She won in four games (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).
The win came after Polina Mikhailova had lost to Viktoria Pavlovich in the opening match of the engagement (11-1, 11-9, 10-12, 15-13) and in the third match of the fixture Mariia Tailakova had been beaten by the very narrowest of margins when facing Daria Trigolos (11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 3-11, 11-9).
“We played so many matches against each other at the biggest tournaments and that is what makes our encounters so difficult. We know each other very well. Viktoria is especially hard to beat and Yana success is great. In last two World Championships we have always been third in the group. Always very close. We want to beat that tradition now and finish amongst the best 12 teams.” Polina Mikhailova
Always Russia is a most competitive nation but falling one or two step short of a medal has been their lot in recent times. Now another chance is presented.