Elizabeta Samara is a Romanian player born in Constanta on 15 April 1989. She has a dominant left hand and employs the shakehand grip. She is known for her reverse-pendulum backspin which Timo Boll also used to earn direct service points at the 2014 World Cup during his match against Zhang Jike. It allows you to do sidespin, side-topspin and backspin although many players tend to favor a side-underspin or a plain sidespin.
Samara has won the European Championships in the women’s singles and doubles events and competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics as a representative of Romania. Previously, Elizabeta Samara played for Fenerbahçe SK in Instanbul, Turkey. She is currently a member of the Panathinaikos women’s squad in Greece.
Samara Elizabeta’s parents play handball and judo and her brother plays table tennis. So, it was only natural for her to get into sports. She became interested in table tennis after watching her brother play and she taught herself how to hold a racket and handle the ball by copying her brother.
Elizabeta Samara amassed several medals in her youth. She won a silver medal in the Cadet Girls Doubles event with Daniela Dodean at the 2002 European Youth Championships and a gold medal in the doubles event among cadets at the 2003 European Youth Championships.
In 2003, Chiramentli Alex and Samara won gold in the women’s doubles at the national junior competitions.
Elizabeta Samara made her debut in the 2004 European championship among adults in table tennis and won gold in the women’s team. She was also the champion of the Cadet Girls Doubles with Margarita Pesotskaya of Ukraine.
She won gold in the doubles category and silver in the Junior Girls singles at the 2005 European Youth Championships and became the singles champion at the 2005 Swedish Junior Open and the 2005 World Junior Circuit Finals.
At the 2006 European Youth Championships, Samara won gold in the team event and silver in the single, doubles and mixed categories. She partnered with Daniel Dodean in the doubles and Abdel-Kader Salifou in the mixed doubles. The same year, Elizabeta Samara was the Junior Girls Singles champion at the 2006 Algerian Junior Open and 2006 Spanish Youth Open. She also won a silver medal in the singles category at the 2006 Swedish Junior Open, 2006 UAE Junior Open and 2006 World Junior Circuit Finals.
In 2007, Samara continued to impress in the World Junior Circuit as she became the Junior Girls Singles champion at the 2007 Spanish Youth Open, 2007 Bahrain Junior Open, 2007 French Junior Open, 2007 Tunisia Junior Open, 2007 Doha Junior Open, 2007 Swedish Junior Open, and 2007 European Youth Championships where she also clinched the doubles and mixed doubles titles with Ekaterina Kolodyazhnaya and Paul Drinkhall respectively. Besides that, Samara also earned a silver medal in the Girls Singles at the 2007 Polish Youth Open.
Samara and Daniela Dodean were the Romanian champions in the women’s doubles for 7 years in a row and in 2013, Samara and Ghemes Ioana became the doubles champions.
In 2007, Samara reached the 1/8 finals of the women’s singles at the World Championship held in Zagreb, Croatia after defeating Sayaka Hirano of japan. She also advanced to the quarterfinal at the European Championship Belgrade 2007. It is the same year that Elizabeta Samara ranked among the top 100 players in the world rankings.
At the 2008 Polish Open, she partnered with Daniela Dodean in the doubles category and won. The pair reached the semifinal at the 2008 ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals held in Macao but lost 11-9, 12-14, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 to Sun Beibei and Li Jiawei of Singapore.
Samara became the Romanian champion after winning the singles and mixed doubles titles in 2008 and 2009, and the 2009 European champion in women’s doubles with Daniela Dodean.
In 2009, Lie Jie beat Samara in the quarterfinal of the European Top 12. Samara won in the mixed doubles with Andrei Filimon at the 2011 and 2012 European Mixed Doubles Championship. She finished second in the women’s team and doubles categories at the 2011 European Championships.
Samara was the first European to win a silver medal in the women’s singles at the 2012 Women’s World Cup. She won gold in the women’s doubles at the 2012 European Championships and silver in the women’s singles and doubles at the 2012 ITTF Polish Open and was ranked 52nd in the world. Elizabeta reached the 1/8 finals as a member of the Romania team at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
She advanced to the quarterfinal in the women’s singles at the 2012 World Tour Grand Final as part of Fenerbahçe SK and won a gold medal in singles and a silver medal in doubles and team categories at the 2015 European Championships.
She finished 17th in the women’s singles at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and was eliminated in the pre-quarterfinal stage of the women’s team at the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Malaysia. She alongside Bernadette Szocs and Daniela Dodean won the Women’s Championship Division title after defeating Germany 3-2 at the Liebherr 2017 ITTF European Championships.
Samara finished in third place in the Top 16 in Europe tournament held in 2018, won a silver medal at the 2019 European Games held in Minsk and became the 2019 European champion in team events.
Elizabeta has won the Championship League title three times as a member of KTS Tarnobrzeg during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons. The Polish team also reached the semifinal in the 2019/2020 season.
Mihaela Steff was Samara’s childhood idol because she is also left-handed, and she had been ranked among the top 4 players in the world.
Samara is among the professional players who use robots to train. According to the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU), she played against Amicus Prime robot while waiting for the restrictions to be lifted during the coronavirus pandemic. The best ping-pong robots offer a convenient way to practice and improve your skills and technique and our recommendations include programmable features for spin, speed and training variations.
Constanta is the hometown of Samara and she became its honorary citizen in 2015. Earlier in her career, she won nine gold medals and five silver medals at the European Youth Championships. She won gold medals at the 2009 European Championships and 2015 European Championships and a silver medal at the 2011 European Championships.
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Samara world ranking in April 2023 was 36 with 700 points. The CSA Steaua București player was ranked 14, her highest to date, in January 2013.
Samara has competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2012 London Olympic Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games as part of Romania’s team.
Elizabeta Samara Equipment
Elizabeta Samara advises younger players to work hard and be passionate about the game to make their debut and progress in the sport easier. These are qualities she exudes as we witnessed in her victory against France in World Juniors Championship. It was her first time at the event, and the team suddenly had to prepare for the match that would begin in 30 minutes.
Elizabeth Samara had a knee meniscus surgery in 2014 and after recovering, she went on to win multiple awards while playing top-level table tennis.