Henzell heats up

30 July 2012

TABLE TENNIS: William Henzell’s quest to become the first Australian to reach the quarter final in men’s singles remains alive after he pulled of a stunning upset against Joao Monteiro of Portugal in six sets on Sunday.

Henzell set himself the goal of improving on his third round finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and Monteiro, a regular training partner of the Australian, proved no match for the Aussie, with Henzell winning 2-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10.

Monteiro raced through the first set and looked like he was living up to his top 40 ranking. However Henzell seized control in the second set and did not let up, winning comfortably.

“I am completely numb,” Henzell said after the win.

“In the first set I had a lot of near misses. I had to play on the edge to beat a guy like (Monteiro). It is the best win I have ever had. I kept on playing my game even after a few misses in the first set. I didn’t doubt myself.”

Henzell will now face Vladimir Samsonov from Belarus, a player he has played only once, way back in 2005. Despite Samsonov being ranked in the top 10, Henzell is confident he can cause a third straight upset.

“In this form I rate myself a chance,” he said.

“I wasn’t supposed to beat the two guys I have and I think the mood and form I am in, anything is possible.

Henzell also upset Hungary’s Adam Pattantyus in the first round, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 to advance.

Henzell has an exceptional Olympic record. He made history at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games by becoming the first Australian to win matches in both the men’s singles and doubles, and he followed up at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by reaching the third round of the singles.

Kevin Diggerson in London
Olympics.com.au 

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