21 Oct 2016

Top seeds, Austria’s Stefan Fegerl and Portugal’s João Monteiro, the defending champions, duly emerged successful in their second round Men’s Doubles encounter at the Liebherr 2016 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary on the late morning of Friday 21st October.

Similarly, there was success was other major medal contenders; Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov, the no.3 seeds, booked quarter-final places as did Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, the no.4 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Stefan Fegerl and João Monteiro ended Hungarian hopes by beating Tamas Lakatos and Adam Szudi (12-10, 12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10); Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov overcame Serbia’s Marco Jevtovic and Zsolt Peto, the no.11 seeds (11-8, 12-10, 12-14, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5), whilst Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson accounted for the combination of Ukraine’s Kou Lei and Turkey’s Ahmet Li (11-2, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3).

Successes as predicted but there were surprises.

Not seeded, the partnership comprising Panagiotis Gionis of Greece and the Slovak Republic’s Wang Yang, used their defensive skills to good effect to beat Frenchmen Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.12 seeds (10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 12-10).

“The French boys played well together; it was hard match but we succeeded. We managed to control them”, Panagiotis Gionis.

Similarly, Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and João Geraldo caused an upset; the no.14 seeds, they overcame the highly rated combination of Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Bojan Tokic, the no.8 seeds (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7) to reserve their place in the quarter-finals.

Otherwise it was very much progress as anticipated; Sweden’s Pär Gerell and Anton Källberg, who had caused an opening round shock by beating Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, the no.2 seeds (8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7), continued their good form. They accounted for Germany’s Benedikt Duda and Steffen Mengel, likewise a non-seeded outfit (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 5-11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7).

Defeat for Germany but there was success; occupying the no.7 seeded position, Patrick Franziska joined forces with Denmark’s Jonathan Groth to beat the Belarus pairing of Pavel Platonov and Vladimir Samsonov (11-9, 14-12, 11-6, 11-4). Meanwhile, in the one remaining second round Men’s Doubles duel, Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Daniel Gorak, the no.6 seeds, ended the hopes of England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford, the no.13 seeds (9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-3).

“In three opening games it was like a roller-coaster. It was very tough. They forced us to change the tactics because we were getting nowhere”, Jakub Dyjas

At the quarter-final stage; in the top half of the draw Stefan Fegerl and João Monteiro meet Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth, Panagiotis Gionis and Wang Yang confront Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson.

In the opposite half of the draw it is Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov versus Jakub Dyjas and Daniel Gorak; Pär Gerell and Anton Källberg in opposition to Tiago Apolonia and João Geraldo.

The quarter-final and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 22nd October.

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Liebherr EC Panagiotis Gionis Wang Yang