Gold for Freitas and Liu at the DHS 2014 Europe Cup
Marcos Freitas of Portugal in action at the Men’s Finals of the DHS 2014 Europe Cup. Photo by Remy Gros/ITTF.
Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS and Austria’s LIU Jia have remained unbeaten to claim gold at the DHS 2014 Europe Cup held over the weekend in the Olympic capital, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The DHS 2014 Europe Cup is the European continental qualification for the Men’s and Women’s ITTF World Cups later in the year, with the top three placed players gaining direct qualification to the prestigious events.
One of those players to directly qualify was the comeback-king Michael MAZE (DEN). MAZE has only played a handful of competitive matches since the London 2012 Olympic Games due to a myriad of injuries.
The 32-year-old fully displayed the class that made him one of the most known table tennis players on earth, eventually making the Men’s final against FREITAS. The 25-year-old Portuguese player was just too strong in the final, prevailing 11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 12-10. The victory boosted his confidence, instilling the belief that if he can beat the legend of MAZE, then he can conquer the world.
“I am happy that I won this tournament. I again beat all the top players here to prove I am a top player. Now when I prove it to myself too, I can set for another goal; now I need to overcome best Chinese players,” stated FREITAS.
“Now, when I speak after this victory, I feel I can rule the world. This won’t happen in two or three weeks. It is my aim and I hope I will be able to do it in recent future.”
European Champion Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) overcame Frenchman Adrien MATTENET in the 3rd place play-off to secure his spot at the ITTF Men’s World Cup.
In the Women’s final, fifth seed LIU Jia of Austria overcame the defensive player Viktoria PAVLOVICH of Belarus, the second seed, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-7 to become the Women’s European Cup Champion.
“I am not playing well against players with the defensive style. That is why I needed a time to settle into the match. I was nervous, but after second game I calm down, which helped a lot,” stated LIU, whose victory in Lausanne was her second Major Title since her comeback from giving birth to her first child in 2011.
“I dedicate this win to my family I am sending kisses to my husband, daughter and everyone in club.”
In the Women’s 3rd place play-off for the direct entry into the ITTF Women’s World Cup, the oldest player in the event, 41 year old Li Jiao (NED) beat the youngest, 19-year-old Petrissa SOLJA (GER), 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 to show that experience counts in table tennis!
The world’s best table tennis players now head to Kuwait for the first Super Series event of this year’s GAC Group 2014 World Tour, which starts Friday 14 February with the main draw in Kuwait City.
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