by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
On the afternoon of Monday 30th April in the contest against Belarus, she was the backbone of a three-one success.
She accounted for Nadezhda Bogdanova in the second match of the fixture (11-9, 12-10, 11-6), before in the contest that brought matters to a conclusion, accounting for Viktoria Pavlovich (11-5, 14-12, 9-11, 11-7).
Fine performances, the splendid results somewhat overshadowing the efforts of Linda Bergström.
On the opening morning of play against Singapore, she was beaten by both Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu. However, later in the day she bounced back to overcome Manika Batra, the winner of the Women’s Singles title at the recent Commonwealth Games in the three-one win over India.
Today against Belarus, she set Sweden on the road to victory.
In the opening contest, she beat fellow defender Viktoria Pavlovich, the key Belarus player, in four games (11-8, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6).
“Playing Viktoria, the mental part is crucial. Against her style of play you must stay calm. You must not rush you must patient; you must wait, wait and wait before you make an attracting stroke.” Linda Bergström
Unquestionably, Linda Bergström was patient, her defence secure but in my view the major improvement in her play was to execute a controlled forehand top spin stroke.
“In the first game I was surprised how easily I was able win points when attacking; in the second it was different, she attacked more and I lost the game. Most definitely by forehand top spin has improved but I think I’m better in every respect, my defence is better both on the forehand and on the backhand.” Linda Bergström
Originally Linda Bergström is from the Ångby Club in Stockholm but she now plays in Linz, Austria. It is the club where Sofia Polcanova, Zhang Mo and Tin-Tin Ho play.
“I practise five hours a day, lots of practice.” Linda Bergström
A three-one success for Sweden; it is one step nearer a top three finish, one step nearer a main draw place.