by Simon Daish
The Russian pairing of Mikhail Paikov and Alexey Liventsov looked in unbeatable form in De Haan, and came through the event without dropping a game across their four matches.
Their opponents on the other hand, Adam Szudi and Tamas Lakatos came to within a whisker of defeat in their semi-finals encounter against Viktor Brodd and Anthony Tran (both Sweden) on day four, and the Hungarian duo would require a much stronger performance on the final day of the competition to keep up with the Russians.
Paikov and Liventsov appeared to have had a better understanding of one another’s play than Szudi and Lakatos, and the scoreline from game one reflected the difference between the two pairs as Paikov and Liventsov dominated the start of the final.
Then Szudi and Lakatos started to find some rhythm in the match and came much closer to success in games two and three. But the partnership from Russia were playing at peak performance and they denied their Hungarian opponents any sort of grip on the tie by acquiring the games to take the win (11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
Sitting seventh in the ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles standings and having competed in five World Tour competitions as a pair, Mikhail Paikov and Alexey Liventsov can now anticipate an invitation for the 2016 World Tour Grand Finals in Doha.
The top seven duos and a combination from the hosts Doha will be invited to the Grand Finals and Mikhail Paikov is happy to have accomplished the minimum requirement for qualification with Alexey Liventsov:
“We played great in this tournament. With this title we are certain to play in the World Tour Grand Finals and that was our goal. I played for the first time here in Belgium and liked the venue a lot. We will now prepare for the European Championships in Hungary. The goal is to win a medal in doubles there” – Mikhail Paikov (Russia).
Saturday 24th September: Men’s Doubles – Main Draw