Friday 8 May 2015

Post-Suzhou 2015: Tetyana Bilenko

Following on from my last interview in the series with Liam Pitchford, we head into the world of outstanding defence. Tetyana Bilenko was one of a handful of players who represented Ukraine with amazing performances in this World Championships. She went the furthest in the women's draw making the last 16, playing fantastically on the way. Representing the females of table tennis, here is my interview with Tetyana!

Tetyana Bilenko in defence mode
Image from

How did you feel about your overall performance at the World Championships in Suzhou?

I am very happy with my performance! I think I gave every match my best and I won against some top players and made the top 16, it's just amazing.

You were able to beat Ai Fukuhara who is ranked 8th in the world. What did you do specifically that you think worked well against her?

After my results at the Qatar Open, where I performed well, I got a lot of confidence , for sure it helped me with Fukuhara. It was like why not? I just tried to do my best, I played well and finally I won. Tactically I tried change the game all the time, spin, no spin, attack, it worked very well!

You are constantly flipping between smooth rubber and long pips. Do you think this makes you more difficult to play than regular defensive players?

I think yes for sure it's more difficult for all players.

What is it that made you develop this unique style of defence, is it something you have gradually introduced into your game?

Before my game was very simple and everyone was very comfortable playing with me. I think it comes from experience and also the coaches from the Academy helped me lots to try and complicate my game more for my opponents.

How important a role has the Werner Schlager Academy played in your successes as a player?

I think a very important role, the professionalism of the club gave me a push and lots of self-confidence.

What's your next big goal moving forward?

I will prepare well for the European Games in Baku and also my dream, the Olympic Games in Brazil :)

Best of luck for your preparations and congratulations on your awesome results and entertaining play in Suzhou! :)

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