02 Feb 2019

In the opening quarter-final encounters of CCB 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup the plaudits went to Austria as Sofia Polcanova and Daniel Habesohn came through their respective fixtures on Saturday 2nd February, sending Germany's Nina Mittelham and France's Simon Gauzy home in the process.

by Simon Daish

In a tight Women’s Singles contest Sofia Polcanova held her nerve in the latter stages of the match, saving numerous game point opportunities in game six to bring Nina Mittelham’s journey to a halt (11-6, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 15-13).

“I had good tactics from the beginning. I changed the pace of the game and I attacked her on her forehand. She could not find the game to stop me. Things changed after the third game. She “read” me and adjusted her game. Nina won the fifth game and led 10:6 in the sixth. Then I just started to play more relaxed. I felt less pressure and when I leveled at 10:10 I just thought ‘I can not lose now!’ I stayed focused.” Sofia Polcanova

Never before beyond the quarter-finals stage of the Europe Top 16, Sofia Polcanova is now guaranteed to achieve a personal best finish in Montreux.

Responsible for a big scalp earlier in the day when he sent Portugal’s Marcos Freitas out of the competition, Daniel Habesohn once again put his name in the spotlight in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event, much to Simon Gauzy’s disappointment.

With two games apiece very little separated the two competitors but a composed display in games five and six saw Austria’s Daniel Habesohn earn a spot in the semi-finals on his Europe Top 16 debut (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7).

“We played many times before against each other, so there was no secret in our game. I also felt comfortable against his game, but still there was a lot of pressure in this match. I think, mentally I was in a much better position. The victory over Freitas gave me extra confidence and I think he felt it in the opening game. I won easily. It also created the advantage for me.” Daniel Habesohn

At the penultimate hurdle Sofia Polcanova will do battle with either Petrissa Solja or Elizabeta Samara while one of Vladimir Samsonov or Panagiotis Gionis awaits Daniel Habesohn.

2019 Europe Top 16 Cup Simon Gauzy Sofia Polcanova Nina Mittelham Daniel Habesohn

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Day 2 - China Construction Bank 2019 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup