TEAM ROSSI PICKS UP THE POINTS AGAINST TEAM MAZE

Feng Tianwei’s return to form a small consolation to Team Maze who lose again in Round 4

JOHOR BAHRU, 21 Sep 2017 – Unlike the smiles from the previous evening when Team Maze escaped with just a single point deficit, Team Fixture 22 at the T2 Asia Pacific Table Tennis League (T2APAC) saw them slumping to a 17-11 defeat to Team Rossi.

Georgina Pota did double duty at the purpose-built T2Cavern at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor Bahru, beating Japanese tween Miyuu Kihara before standing in for injured team-mate Elizabeta Samara against Feng Tianwei.

Solid wins for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Cheng I-Ching, a combative two points from Paul Drinkhall and an aggressive victory for newcomer Liu Dingshuo over Chen Chien-An serve notice that Team Rossi are climbing their way back up the table.

Match 1: Georgina Pota (HUN) vs Miyuu Kihara (JPN)

A reversal of form for both players as Pota bounced back from defeat to put away Kihara who had been victorious the previous day. Pota started hot, taking the first game 11-4. And while Kihara slowly warmed up, Pota’s simply kept it simple, consistently returning the ball and controlling the tempo of the match. The Hungarian won the next two sets 11-8, 11-7, then came from 4-8 behind to win the fourth set 11-9. With the clock running down, Pota had the opportunity to make it a clean sweep but she failed to convert a 4-3 lead and ended up losing the final set 4-6.

Said Pota: “Of course it would be nice to win five sets for my team, but I’m still really happy with this result. We’ve never met before and last night I was a little bit afraid of the pimples (Kihara’s preferred bat) but it turned out great.”

Match 2: Dimitrij Ovtcharov (GER) vs Aleksandr Shibaev (RUS)

A scrappy match which saw referee Winnie Chay working overtime to manage the clock, issuing time warnings against both players and eventually a yellow card to Shibaev for time wasting. And the Russian would have every reason to feel frustrated at coming at the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. That was especially galling after Shibaev had taken the first game 11-9. But Ovtcharov is not pushover as the

Commented Ovtcharov: “We’ve played each other many times and it’s always tough against him. I just stayed calm even in the pressure situations, we both know each other’s weaknesses and I got the better of this encounter.”

Match 3: Cheng I-Ching (TPE) vs Yang Haeun (KOR)

Cheng again proved she is an extremely useful team player as she handed Yang a second straight defeat in Round 4. Fans expecting a tighter match would be disappointed as Yang has returned from the six-week mid-season break looking like a different player. Not surprising as Yang had injured her foot three weeks ago and is lacking match fitness. Cheng took the first game easily (11-5) but admittedly lost her concentration in the second set, losing 10-11. A quick pep talk with her tea set the Taiwanese right as she player a better end-game in the third 11-8 while the time-shortened fourth was comfortable, as Cheng built up an 8-3 lead to eventually win 9-5.

Sad Cheng: “I had a nice lead in the second set and then failed to settle myself down and ended up dropping the set. But I’m holding my composure well this round, and that’s the reason I’ve won both my matches so far.”

Match 4: Paul Drinkhall (ENG) vs Timo Boll (GER)

Plenty to think about from this match where Boll should have gone away with a handsome win but saw himself somewhat out-smarted by Drinkhall, who would be happy with losing by just 2-3. Boll shaded a tight first set 11-10, then was more convincing in the second, winning 11-9. But the third set saw Drinkhall coming into his own, varying his serves to good effect and managing to pull back a set 11-10. Boll was in no mood to be charitable as took the next game 11-5, leaving seven seconds on the clock and necessitating the Kill Zone game. With Team Rossi needed sets to close the gap on their rivals, Drinkhall’s fight back to win the set 5-4 will be savoured by the team.

Said Boll: “I think I can be satisfied but Paul played very clever. I was sweating a lot and needed more time to dry myself and started to lose focus and he took full advantage of that. Mentally I was quite good but it’s stressful playing on a tight clock and you can feel yourself under pressure.”

Match 5: Georgina Pota (HUN)** vs Feng Tianwei (SGP)

With Samara standing down due to a neck strain, Pota took to the floor for a second time to face an opponent that she surprised the first time they met. But Feng is no longer the same player that took five attempts before winning her first T2APAC match. Against a player of Feng’s calibre, it was going to take a bit more than the usual fare to take a set, what more the win. Feng wrested control early and won the first three sets11-3, 11-8, 11-7 before Pota finally worked out how to stay close. And that paid dividends as Pota was able to win the fourth set 11-10. But she was always behind in the Kill Zone set which went Feng’s way 5-3.

Said Feng: “Apart from the fourth set when things got a bit tight, I think I played well today. The last time we met it was a 2-2 draw, this time I feel better prepared and I’m happy with the result.”

Match 6: Liu Dingshuo (CHN) vs Chen Chien-An (TPE)

Having squandered a chance for victory in his T2APAC debut the day before, Liu came out roaring against Chen as both men traded the opening sets of the day’s final match. Liu edged the first 11-10 before Chen took the second 11-8. World Junior Champion in 2015, Liu stayed aggressive throughout and threw everything at Chen, finding his range to take the next two games 11-6, 11-7. The fourth set ended with just one second on the clock, sending the match into the Kill Zone, with Chen seemingly pleased with the chance to pull back a game. But it was to no avail as Liu streak to a 3-1 lead and closed out the game 5-1,

Said Liu: “I didn’t adjust to the game format quickly enough yesterday and threw away a winning position but today with the help and encouragement from my team-mates, I was able to produce my best form for the victory.”


Team Captains’ quotes:

“It was a really nice win for us and a strong performance from the whole team. Gina has plenty of experience against younger players, as she showed in her win over Kihara, and for her to take a set off Feng felt like a victory.” – Team Rossi captain Jorg Rosskopf on the 17-11 victory

“It looked like only Timo and Feng were in good enough shape and if you’re not 100 per cent in this competition, you will lose. We enjoyed a fair bit of luck in the first half of the season but now things are evening out.” – Team Maze captain Michael Maze

Quote of the day:
“We’re definitely missing Hina Hayata’s experience in this round, even if Miyuu Kihara is already an amazing player at just 13 years of age.” – Michael Maze


T2APAC Round 4 Team Fixture 22: Team Rossi vs Maze

Summary:

Team Maze

Team Persson

Match 1

Georgina Pota (HUN)

4

Miyuu Kihara (JPN)

1

Match 2

Dimitrij Ovtcharov (GER)

3

Aleksandr Shibaev (RUS)

1

Match 3

Cheng I-Ching (TPE)

3

Yang Haeun (KOR)

1

Match 4

Paul Drinkhall (ENG)

2

Timo Boll (GER)

3*

Match 5

Georgina Pota (HUN)**

1

Feng Tianwei (SGP)

4*

Match 6

Liu Dingshuo (CHN)

4

Chen Chien-An (TPE)

1*

Overall

Team Rossi

17

Team Maze

11

* denotes playing of Kill Zone game
** replaces injured Elizabeta Samara (ROM)
2017-09-22T11:10:06+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|Press Releases & Annoucements|