by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success but for the now 42 year old, the success was hard earned; the contest closer than the end result may suggest; Ovidiu Ionescu proved a most determined adversary.
“In second game, I led 9-5 before he levelled to 10-10. In third I was 7-3 in the lead and I lost. Every game was close. It was the same in Alicante. I was in good shape then, like I am now but I guess today Ionescu was not at the same level. However, I always need some time to get into the game and I am extremely happy I won this encounter. It was a tough adversary for an opening round.” Vladimir Samsonov
Progress to the quarter-final round for Vladimir Samsonov, in the counterpart women’s event it was the same for Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova but with one notable difference; she upset the order of merit. The no.14 seed, she ended the hopes of Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.8 seed; imposingly she succeeded in four straight games (11-9, 11-8, 16-14, 11-8).
“We know each other very well, so there was no secret about the tactics. For me it was important to constantly change the pace of the game and play safe; also to be prepared for when she served long.” Barbora Balazova
At the quarter-final stage Barbora Balazova faces Bernadette Szocs; for Vladimir Samsonov either Panagiotis Gionis of Greece or Sweden’s Mattias Falck await.