Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei Win Women’s Doubles Title in St Petersburg

The last decade and more has seen Krisztina Tóth in partnership with Csilla Bátorfi gain success after success in Women’s Doubles events on the international stage. The latter has now retired from international play and Krisztina Tóth has a new partner, Georgina Póta.

In St Petersburg at the Eurosib Russian Open on Sunday 5th November 2006, they faced Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei in the final, runners up spot was their lot, they lost in six games.
Sun Bei Bei and Li Jia Wei, the Women's Doubles champions at the Eurosib Russian Open
Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei won 11-4, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10 but the Hungarians showed that in the near future they will be a formidable pairing.

Better Start
Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei made the better start to the contest; in the opening game they made few errors and soon established a 7-1 lead. Sun Bei Bei was particularly effective over the table, close to the net; she seized every opportunity to attack, using her forehand flick to good effect.

It was in that area of the opening game that the Singapore duo excelled and, with some comfort, they were one game to the good against Georgina Póta and Krisztina Tóth.

In the second game, the Hungarian duo made the better start; they went ahead 3-1 and then 4-2. However, Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei levelled at 4-all with the latter the architect of success, a controlled forehand topspin and then on the next point a fast forehand flick were the ingredients that brought parity.

Trying to be the first to attack was the major problem for the Hungarian duo but liaising well, moving quickly their counter attacking play took them into an 8-6 lead. The crowd clearly believed them to be the underdogs and applauded their spirited efforts, with fortune on their side they captured the second game to level proceeding at one game all.

Back in Control
In the third game, the Singapore duo once again assumed control. Sun Bei Bei made the openings using her forehand topspin or her skill over the table, whilst Li Jia Wei unleashed a fast forehand attack to end the point. The Hungarians fought but the Singaporeans were in control and went one game to the good.

Once again, the Hungarian duo responded and counter attacking wide at every conceivable occasion, they won the fourth game to bring the match back to parity.

More confident, Georgina Póta and Krisztina Tóth attacked strongly at the start of the fifth game and went into a 5-2 lead, Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei reduced the arrears to 8-7 in favour of the Hungarians prompting coach Peter Teglas to call `Time Out’.

Singapore Ahead
The break worked initially in favour of the Singapore pair who levelled at 8-all, the next two point were shared but then at 10-9 it was advantage to Singapore and they seized the opportunity to win a game they had looked like losing.

In open play, when the rallies developed at a fast pace it was the Hungarians who prevailed, when it was short play over the table and heavy topspin as opposed to speed it was the Singapore duo who were in the ascendancy.

Winning the fifth game from a losing position had given Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei confidence. They played positively and went into a 5-2 lead, now they were winning the topspin rallies.

Match Points Saved
The Singapore pair went ahead 6-4, the stage at which they called `Time Out’ to re-appraise matters. Georgina Póta and Krisztina Tóth reduced the arrears to 6-7 as the level of play rose with topspin rallies developing.

However, they were never able to gain parity. Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei moved ahead 9-7, then 10-7; the Hungarians fought, they saved all three match points and the crowd saluted their efforts.

Again at 11-10 it was match point for Singapore, this time there was no recovery. Li Jia Wei and Sun Bei Bei were the champions
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Date Title
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11/5/2006 Victory for Hou Yingchao as he Wins his First Ever ITTF Pro Tour Men’s Singles Title
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