26 Aug 2016

The top seeds survived but in the first round of both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte, seeds fell with alarming regularity on the third day of play, Friday 26th August.

No less than five Men’s Doubles seeded pairs bid farewell; for the women, the number was just one less.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov, the top seeds in the Men’s Doubles event duly booked their place in the quarter-finals by beating Sweden’s Anders Eriksson and Elias Ranefur (11-6, 11-5, 12-10).

However, they were the exception not the rule.

Surprise after surprise

The combination of Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny, the no.2 seeds experienced defeat at the hands of Frenchmen, Thomas Le Breton and Adrien Mattenet (13-15, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Success for France but there was also the opposite scenario; Antoine Hachard and Romain Ruiz, the no.3 seeds and the winners earlier in the year in Chile, tasted defeat. They were beaten by the combination of Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei and Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund (16-14, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6).

Injury hampered Marco Rech Daldosso

Defeat for the third seeds, there was also defeat for the next in line but in rather different circumstances; an injury to Marco Rech Daldosso who partnered Niagol Stoyanov rather hampered the effectiveness of the fourth seed partnership.

They experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s Konstantin Chernov and Sadi Ismailov (11-8, 2-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Early departures

An early departure for notable pairings, it was the same for the French duo of Romain Lorentz and Quentin Robinot, the no.6 seeds, as it was for Sweden’s Viktor Brodd and Anthony Tran, the no.7 seeds.

Romain Lorentz and Quentin Robinot lost to Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Sun Chai-Hung (12-10, 11-2, 11-9); for Viktor Brodd and Anthony Tran it was defeat when facing Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa and Taku Takakiwa (5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-1).

Less pronounced

Casualties galore, it was very much the same in the first round of the Women’s Doubles event but not quite so pronounced where the top names were concerned.

Russia’s Maria Dolgikh and Polina Mikhailova, the top seeds, beat Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7); Japan’s Honoko Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seeds, defeated the combination of Denmark’s Stefanie Christensen and Sweden’s Jennifer Jonsson (11-6, 11-5, 11-8).

Likewise, Romania’s Irina Ciobanu and Camelia Postoaca, the no.4 seeds, accounted for Bulgaria’s Anelia Karova and Elitsa Zamfirova (11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6).

Japanese pairs cause upsets

However, for Russia’s Yana Noskova and Olga Vorobova, the no.3 seeds, it was defeat; they were beaten by Japan’s Marina Matsuzawa and Mariko Takahashi (11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Success against expectations for one Japanese pair, it was the same for another. Miyu Kato and Misaki Morizono overcame the seventh seeded partnership formed by Emina Hadziahmetovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey’s Sibel Remzi (11-8, 11-4, 11-9).

Disappointment for Puerto Rico and Bulgaria

Disappointment for the seventh seeds; it was the same for the sixth seeds. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and elder sister Melanie, experienced defeat at the hands of India’s Manika Batra and Mouma Das (11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Problems for three seeded outfits in the first round of the Women’s Doubles event; there were problems for one further partnership.

Bulgaria’s Krasmina Yovkova and Maria Yovkova, the no.8 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s Valeria Shcherbatykh and Maria Tailakova (11-8, 11-4, 11-9).

World Tour Bulgaria Open