Iveta Vacenovska en route to victory over Renata Strbikova Photo By: Ayoade Ademakinwa
5/2/2009 World Table Tennis Championships
“The main thing is that there is a player from the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals”, said a very sporting Renata Strbikova after losing her fourth round Women’s Singles duel against compatriot Iveta Vacenovska at the H.I.S. World Championships, late in the afternoon of Saturday 2nd May 2009.
Iveta Vacenovska won 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9 to book her place in the quarter-finals.
“It’s the worst possible situation, yet the best possible situation”, reflected Vacenovska, as perspiration dripped from her brow.
“Renata is my friend, we are in the same team, we practise together, we play doubles together, we share the same room”, continued Vaceonovska. “On the other hand it’s better not to have had to face a Chinese player where you only have a minimal chance of winning.”
It was for both players a dilemma.
“I tried not to think that it was Renata at the other end of the table”, continued Vacenovska. “I tried to think it was just a player.”
Good thinking, treat every opponent as a player whatever the nationality or pedigree and who knows what may happen.
“Mentally I felt good today and I think in the last six months I have become more stable in that department”, concluded Vacenovska. “Now, I think tactically I am better and against European players I believe I can win.”
In Yokohama, Iveta Vacenovska was full of belief.
“It was very hard today and of course even harder because you are playing someone from your own country”, said Strbikova. “Today, Iveta was more active than me in her play and mentally she was calmer than usual; more than usual she kept the play short and played with more spin than I expected.”
Success for Iveta Vacenovska in the all Czech Republic battle whilst in the two contests featuring players from China, it was success for Liu Shiwen and Li Xiaoxia.
Liu Shiwen beat fourth seed, Guo Yan in straight games, winning 11-5, 11-6, 13-11, 11-4 whilst in one game more, Li Xiaoxia defeated Ding Ning.
Li Xiaoxia succeeded 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10.
In the one remaining match completed in the afternoon of the fifth day of play, top seed, China’s Zhang Yining defeated Hungary’s Krisztina Toth in impressive style.
The reigning Olympic champion won 11-6, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6.