The 2012 European Championships started today with the singles' group phase and doubles' qualification rounds. Therefore, big stars such as Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Vladimir Samsonov and Michael Maze haven't made their debut yet. This time Maze is the host player, so he doesn't want to disappoint his compatriots and hopes to repeat success reached in Stuttgart 2009.
However, The Danish player is the fourth seed in the competition and won't have an easy way to the final because Timo Boll and Adrian Crisan are some of his probable opponents. Therefore, Michael Maze analysed the strongest playes in the tournament.
Michael Maze about Timo Boll: "Timo is a great athlete and a great embassador of our sport. I feel that I have known him for a long time and I cannot say anything bad about him. He always behaves correctly and is very respectful to everyone. I admire his calm in all situations. He has no weak points, may be that's his greatest strength. I have beaten him six or seven times but I think that he has beaten me more than twenty times."
Maze about Dimitrij Ovtcharov: "He is a player of the new generation. He is a training machine and a big fighter. He works all day long. I don't think that there is someone else who trains more than he does. He would give anything for a victory."
Maze about Samsonov: "I think that he is the greatest player after Jan Ove Waldner. He has an unique ball feeling, he deserves all my respect."
Maze about Adrian Crisan: "He defeated Timo at the Olympic Games and my record with him is worse than with Timo. Adrian plays very well. His backhand is one of the best in the world and his control is very good. He can be a threat for any player at the European Championships."
Maze about Adrien Mattenet: "He is one of the good generation from France. I don't think that he will win now, but he will be at the top at any moment. His strengths are his service and his backhand."
Maze about Patrick Baum: "He has a great ability to play well in important moments. He has reached the final in the last two European Championships after beating Vladimir Samsonov. That shows that he is a top player. Although he is the ten seed, it wouldn't be a surprise, if he is in the final again."
Photo and info. source: zimbio.com - sporten.dk