20 Sep 2018

Success for Italy’s Mihai Bobocica in the preliminary round of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr 2018 European Championships in Alicante, Spain on the evening of Wednesday 19th September meant the end of the road for Michael Maze, the winner in 2009 in Stuttgart.

Presently listed at no.88 on the current World Ranking list, as opposed to Michael Maze who stands at no.397, Mihai Bobocica emerged successful in five games (11-4, 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Defeat for one of the most talented players of the modern era; however, there was more than compensation for Denmark. One of the best performances in the Men’s Singles preliminary round was that executed by Anders Lind; he beat Poland’s Patryk Zatowka in four straight games (11-7, 17-15, 11-8, 11-8).

A most imposing performance from Anders Lind; it was the same from the host nation’s Jesus Cantero, he ended the hopes of Leonardo Mutii, like Mihai Bobocica from Italy, in some style (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8).

Mixed fortunes for Denmark and Italy; for Serbia in hard fought contests, the norm for the round, it was not the best of fortunes, excruciating defeats in seven games. Marko Jevtovic suffered against Welshman, Callum Evans by the very narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 13-11); similarly Aleksandar Karakasevic was beaten by Austria Andreas Levenko (11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-13, 11-6).

Success by narrow margins, it was the same for Croatia’s Frane Kojic; he was extended the full distance by Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic (9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Meanwhile, in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles event Jamila Laurenti added to Italian success by beating Portugal’s Leila Oliveira in straight games (11-5, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7); a most imposing performance from the 15 year old.

“Before the match I was very focused. Oliveira played every point to the maximum. You can never let her control the game. I was in charge from the beginning and forced her into errors.” Jamila Laurenti

In a similar vein, in straight games Russia’s Anastasia Kolish and Sweden’s Linda Bergström secured their main draw places. Anastasia Kolish accounted for Emina Hadziahmetovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (11-3, 11-2, 12-10, 11-2), Linda Bergström ended the hopes of England’s Maria Tsaptsinos (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9).

Comprehensive wins; equally in the preliminary round of the Women’s Doubles event, there were those that needed a deciding game to determine the outcome. Aikaterini Toliou of Greece eventually emerged successful against Poland’s Natalia Bajor (3-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8), as did Luxembourg’s Danielle Konsbruck by the very narrowest of margins, when facing Russia’s Mariia Tailakova (5-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 13-11).

Play in the main draw of the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events commence on Thursday 20th September when the first rounds will be completed in entirety.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Michael Maze Mihai Bobocica

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