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Goodbye to Swedes

Men's World Cup 2001

ITTF Press Release

Courmaeyur, 9 November 2001: There will be no Swedes in the draw for the quarter finals at the Men's World Cup. Jan-Ove WALDNER only came 3rd in group D losing surprisingly to Kalinikos KREANGA (GRE) and the European Champion Peter KARLSSON as well came 3rd in group C though he overcame nr. 8 in the World Werner SCHLAGER (AUT).

WALDNER never really got his game going against KREANGA. When KREANGA managed to attack on WALDNER's service, the SWEDE often came too late on the counter attack sending his topspin too far - and not even close to the back line of the table.

"I just did not move well enough and I missed balls that I normally don't miss - in addition to that my backhand was a disaster today," says WALDNER after the defeat.

Being down 2-1 WALDNER took an 8-2 lead in the 4th game - and threw it away. KREANGA came back to 8-8 and took the game to go to 3-1.

"At 2-8 I took two points in WALDNER's service, and suddenly I started to believe in the possibility," says KREANGA.

WALDNER won the 5th game but again in the 6th the Swede wasted a lead to see KREANGA taking the match.

"It was a nice win for me, it only happened once before that I succeeded in advancing from the group at the World Cup," says the Greek.

Peter KARLSSON not only had to beat Werner SCHLAGER he also had to keep the Austrian away from winning more than two games if the Swede should reach the 2nd place which qualified for the quarter finals from group C.

The Swede had a 2-1 lead but SCHLAGER evened to 2-2 in a crucial 4th game which went to 11-11 before SCHLAGER took it 13-11.

In the 5th SCHLAGER had the game ball to go to 3-2 and with that secure the 2nd place in the group, but he missed it and KARLSSON instead took the lead winning 13-11.

The condition in the 6th game were simple: the winner of the game would advance to the quarter finals - no matter who eventually would win the match. KARLSSON was very close leading 8-6 and having the service. Then SCHLAGER played some excellent rallies, turned everything around and took the game to even to 3-3.

The last game was a formality but KARLSSON kept on fighting. He really wanted that victory, and he got it, winning the last game 11-7, one of those "useless" victories since CHIANG Peng-Lung and Werner SCHLAGER are now advancing to the quarter finals.

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