by Ian Marshall, Editor
In Under 21 women’s singles events on ITTF World Tour, Sofia Polcanova enjoyed notable success; she won on five occasions. Additionally, in ITTF World Tour women’s singles events she reached the quarter-final round on home soil in Linz in 2016, achieving the same result in 2018 in Budapest; notably in the same year at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments she advanced to the final in Minsk losing to Japan’s Saki Shibata.
The results meant that last October she rose to a career high of no.15 on the women’s world rankings, a position she held until the beginning of this year when she fell on place lower.
Very creditable performances but the task is to secure a major title; the top seed at the Liebherr 2018 European Championships in Alicante, she experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska. The name of Margaryta Pesotska does not appear on the entry list for the CCB Europe Top 16 Cup but are there are two names in particular that Sofia Polcanova may wish to avoid?
At the CCB 2018 Europe Top 16 tournament, after beating the host nation’s Rachel Moret, she experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Matilda Ekholm; the contest a repeat of their clash at the 2016 European Olympic Games Qualification tournament in Halmstad. On both occasions Matilda Ekholm prevailed in straight games.
Likewise, last month at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, in the first round of the women’s singles event, Sofia Polcanova was beaten by Germany’s Petrissa Solja, also in straight games.
Both Matilda Ekholm and Petrissa Solja are left handed shake-hands grip attacking top spin players like Sofia Polcanova; so does the Austrian have a problem against that style of play?
Now, the answer lies in her results against Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Poland’s Natalia Partkya, likewise left handers and both on duty in Montreux; three meetings in world ranking events against each player, Sofia Polcanova has always won. Furthermore that includes beating Elizabeta Samara in the women’s team event at the Liebherr 2015 European Championships; later in the tournament, Romanian won the women’s singles title.
I suggest the case rests but still there is point to prove, win a major title.