Showdown EC 14: Unbeatable Petr Zidar
Date: August 16, 2014
It was clear before the tournament had started: if Petr Zidar, Slovenia, could play the same level as he did last year when he won the World Championships, there would be no one to stop him. Very unfortunately for all the other top players he did exactly that – his game proved without a flaw during the whole competition and also the sometimes shaky nerves were kept at bay. He won all his first and second round matches and advanced to the finals with no mercy for his opponents.
Ari Lahtinen, Finland, has been a top player for years and has won quite a few international tournaments in his career. He was one of the top seeded players and he could be considered a candidate for the final. Building on his continuous solid play, with a good defense and a traditional "Finish" offense mixed with many tactical variations, Ari managed to reach the finale with only a few close matches.
In the finale Peter Zidar was caugth wrong-footed – before he could blink the first set was lost 3:11. Could there be a major surprise and Finland win their third title? The answer to that question took exactly three very concentrated sets where Peter Zidar found back to his super-hard and precise play which is un-defendable. With his type of play Peter leaves very little room for his opponent to score since the expression "ball posession" is not only important in football.
In the end Peter celebrated a deserved win in four sets: 3-11, 11-3, 12-4, 12-10
Congratulations to the European and World Champion!