20 Oct 2016

Following in the best traditions of Austrian compatriots Karl Jindrak and Werner Schlager, crowned European champions in Aarhus in 2005; in recent years Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn have established themselves as arguably the leading partnership in the old continent.

In the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, on Thursday 20th October, they crashed to defeat in the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event at the Liebherr 2016 European Championships.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

They were beaten in six games by the Swedish partnership of Pär Gerell and Anton Källberg (8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7).

The Austrian duo was never able to find the form that witnessed success in 2012 in Herning when overcoming Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, like Pär Gerell and Anton Källberg from Sweden, in the final prior to being the runners up on home soil in Schwechat in 2013 and last year in Ekaterinburg.

On the former occasion they were beaten by the combination of Croatia’s Tan Ruiwu and Poland’s Wang Zengyi; on the latter by colleague Stefan Fegerl who partnered Portugal’s João Monteiro.

To date, the Liebherr 2016 European Championships has not witnessed the best of fortunes for either Robert Gardos or Daniel Habesohn. In the opening round of the Mixed Doubles event, Robert Gardos partnering colleague Liu Jia and occupying the second seeded position in the tournament, experienced an opening round defeat at the hands of Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Maria Xiao (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 18-16).

Meanwhile, one day earlier in the group stage of the Men’s Singles event, Daniel Habesohn had suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Italy’s Leonardo Mutti (11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 12-10). Presently, Daniel Habesohn is listed at no.95 on the Men’s World Rankings, Leonardo Mutti is at no.188.

Second place in the group was the eventual lot of Daniel Habesohn but he did redeem himself; in the preliminary round he beat Denmark’s Tobias Rasmussen (11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 13-11) to reserve his place in the main draw.

Robert Gardos has yet to start his quest in the Men’s Singles event.

Defeat for the second seeds but for the other leading partnerships there was success.

Stefan Fegerl and João Monteiro, the top seeds, beat the Netherlands combination of Rajko Gommers and Ewout Oostwouder (7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9), whilst Russia’s Aleksey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov, the no.3 seeds, overcame the Czech Republic’s Tomislav Kolarek and Tomislav Pucar (12-10, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8).

Similarly, Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson were not to be denied; the no.4 seeds, they accounted for Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Carlos Machado (11-3, 6-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9).

The Men’s Doubles event continues on Friday 21st October.

Liebherr EC Robert Gardos Daniel Habesohn Par Gerell Anton Källberg