Tkach takes Braga Open 2018

Kristina Tkach (RUS) (Photo courtesy of Alison Chang)
Kristina Tkach (RUS) won the Braga Open 2018 with a 7:0 whitewash in the final over Marharyta Fefilava (BLR). The Braga Open Women’s Euro-Tour was organised for the 6th and final time by Sara Rocha (POR) who is a regular on women’s events and European Championships for many years now. Over the last 6 years, the European women have enjoyed the tournament and its surroundings very much and appreciate the event a lot.
The #1 and #2 player from the Women’s Euro-Tour ranking. Both of them had a remarkable way into the final match. Fefilava did not really experience too much resistance on her journey. She eliminated two local players 7:1 and 7:0 before she met Sara Rocha who also was local but is a regular on the women’s tour. Fefilava remained the upper hand in that match and won it 7:3. After that, Fefilava defeated Yvonne Ullmann-Hybler (GER) 7:1 and in the semi-final Pia Filler (GER) with 7:4. Her way into the final match was overall smooth sailing for Fefilava. On the other side of the draw, Kristina Tkach had some tough struggles to survive. She also had two victories over two local players before she encountered Ewa Bak (POL) in her third match. That match saw 12 racks with Tkach standing tall at 7:5 in the end. After that, Tkach even had to go over the full distance. She just managed to get her foot over the finish line earlier than opponent Tina Vogelmann (GER) and won the match with the closest of all results, 7:6. In the semi-final, Tkach ousted Ine Helvik (NOR) with 7:3. With these results under their belts, Fefilava and Tkach met in the final match. A fierce fight and close encounter was expected by all spectators. But to the shock of all spectators, Fefilava could not get a foot on the ground in the final match. Tkach dominated the set and showed no mercy to her opponent who could not find a valid way to break Tkach’s flow. In the end, the final match was a „one-girl-show“ with Kristina Tkach winning the match and the title with 7:0.
Another remarkable result was the 9th place for unheralded Elena Urquijo (ESP). She fought her way through the loser’s side and had to give in to Ine Helvik with 2:7 in the round of the last 16 players single elimination.
In the Women’s Euro-Tour Rankings, Fefilava still remains #1 player being 50 points ahead of #2 Tkach. #3 is Oliwia Czuprynska who is filled by #4, Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) who chose to not play the events in Portugal this year.
Top Eight Finishers
1. Kristina Tkach RUS
2. Marharyta Fefilava BLR
3. Ine Helvik NOR
    Pia Filler GER
5. Yvonne Ullmann-Hybler GER
    Oliwia Czuprynska POL
    Kristina Zlateva BUL
    Tina Vogelmann GER
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