Tournaments

08 Sep 2019

Winners two years ago in Luxembourg, Germany and Romania successfully defended their respective men’s and women’s titles on Sunday 8th September at the 2019 European Team Championships in the French west coast city of Nantes.

Facing Portugal in each final, a 3-0 winning margin was the outcome; the top seeded positions being thoroughly justified.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The German men’s trio comprising Timo Boll, Patrick Franziska and Dimitrij Ovtcharov completed proceedings without the loss of a single individual match; one of the most comprehensive performances since the tournament was first staged in 1958 in Budapest.

Likewise, in the women’s event it was a command performance from Bernadette Szocs, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean and Elizabeta Samara; they surrendered just one match when, at the semi-final stage against Poland, Daniela Monteiro Dodean had lost to Li Qian (11-3, 11-7, 13-11).

A proud moment and time for thought (left to right) Bernadette Szocs, Elizabeta Samara, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean, Viorel Filimon, Irina Ciobanu, Adina Diaconu  (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Ideal start

At the final hurdle, Dimitrij Ovtcharov game Germany the ideal start by beating Marcos Freitas (11-7, 11-7, 11-8), before Timo Boll accounted for João Monteiro (11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7) and Patrick Franziska concluded matters by overcoming Tiago Apolonia (12-10, 11-9, 11-4).

“I think we are such a good team because we all trust each other and we all know that the pressure does not lay only on one player but on all of us.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Success for Germany against an outfit that had excelled expectations, Portugal commenced play as the no.10 seed; furthermore, to some extent they avenged the defeat in the 2014 Lisbon final when Portugal had secured the title for the one and only time in their history.

The successful German men’s team (left to right) Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Timo Boll, Ruwen Filus, Patrick Franziska, Jörg Rosskopf and Benedikt Duda (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Overall, Germany has now won the title eight times, all notably in the modern era; arguably that of Timo Boll. The first win was in 2007 in Belgrade, followed in consecutive years by success in St Petersburg, Stuttgart, Ostrava and Gdansk, before once again succeeding in 2013 in Schwechat.

Clear goal

Success for Germany, followed success for Romania; the trio comprising Bernadette Szocs, Daniela Monteiro-Dodean and Elizabeta Samara highly focused. Bernadette Szocs beat Shao Jieni (11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6), before Daniela Monteiro-Dodean accounted for Fu Yu (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8) to put her team in a commanding position.

“I felt very confident. My game was on the highest level. Even when I was down, I did not feel she can close the gap.” Daniela Dodean

Soon after, Elizabeta Samara prevailed against Leila Oliveira (11-9, 11-7, 11-6) to secure gold.

Daniela Dodean (nearest camera) celebrates after beating Fu Yu to turn the tide inexorably in favour of Romania

 

It is the fifth time that Romania has won the women’s team title at a European Championships; additional to two years ago in Luxembourg, they emerged successful in 1992 in Stuttgart, 2002 in Zagreb and 2005 in Aarhus.

Similarly, as in the men’s event, Portugal surpassed their status; they commenced play, the no.7 seeds, it was their first appearance in a women’s team final at a European Championships.

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