OLIWIA ZALEWSKA (POLAND) claimed her fifth Women’s Euro Tour title in Tallinn today as she came through two hill-hill closing matches and beat Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia 7-6 to win the EPBF Estonian Open. It was especially pleasing for Zalewska as she had endured a torrid previous twelve months as she searched for that elusive fifth title.
“I think it was tough because the last couple of Euro Tours I was really, really bad and finished 13th and 17th place, you know, and I was waiting for that moment when I broke through with my game and started to enjoy playing and not be scared,” said Zalewska.
“So, I was really enjoying it and didn’t stress too much of course. It was quite emotional for a few moments. I’m so happy that I played well under pressure in two hill-hill matches.”
With the tournament played down to the final four, Zalewska faced No.1 ranked player, Eyllul Kibaroglu (Turkey) in her semi-final match and dug deep to clinch the match in the deciding rack to move herself into the final.
There she faced Ivanovskaia who had earlier defeated Melanie Sussenguth 7-4 to book her place in the final two. The German has only played in three of the last six Euro Tour events and with a best placed finish of ninth, a final appearance was a welcome return to form.
Played out in the Kalev Sports Hall, the match was always close and inevitably went to a final rack decider. Understandably, the play went back and forth as both girls tried to keep it tight but in the end, it was Zalewska who prevailed.
She said, ”I think my nerves influenced me in a positive way so I could focus more but sometimes when the emotion is too much it can go in another direction. We practice a lot to keep our nerves on a leash so I tried to be focused and tried to play as best as I could. It’s back to the practice table now and I’m looking forward to the next Euro Tour in April.”
It was Ivanovskaia’s second Euro Tour final and her performances throughout will give her hope that the best is yet to come; “I honestly don’t think nerves cost me – I was actually, throughout the whole match, stable, not too nervous and in the moment. I really enjoyed myself out there and in the end, it didn’t really matter to me if I won or lost because I’m working a lot at the moment on the mental side of my game to truly enjoy what I’m doing.”
All the matches can be viewed live by visiting www.epbf.com/tournaments/eurotour/ and clicking on the ‘LIVE’ button. This will take you through to viewing options. In addition, selected matches will be streamed on Facebook Live on the EPBF page.
Results, live scoring, and draw are available at www.epbf.com