by Simon Daish
Cheng I-Ching and her Doubles teammate Lee I-Chen put in a strong showing against Japanese opponents Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in their semi-finals match, with the Chinese Taipei duo picking up a win in four ends in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.
Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato came into the 2016 Swedish Open with great confidence having secured the Women’s Doubles crown last time out on the World Tour at the 2016 Austrian Open in Linz, where they overcame their fellow countrywomen Hina Hayata and Miyu Kato in the final.
However, there was to be no repeat of that success for Hashimoto and Sato in Stockholm, and right from the beginning of the tie it was Cheng and Lee who looked to be the more comfortable of the two teams after they moved 2-0 ahead.
Then a glimmer of hope appeared for Hashimoto and Sato after their win in game three, but Cheng and Lee were determined not to throw away their lead and with the fourth end going to the Chinese Taipei pair the match drew to a close (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11).
The other set of competitors in the Women’s Doubles final will be Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun of Korea Republic, following their closely contested semi-finals fixture against Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota.
Being the sole remaining European players left standing in the category the hopes of a continent rested upon the shoulders of Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota, and with the backing of the home crowd on their side the Swede and the Hungarian gave Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun a solid run for their money.
While the match was decided by a 3-1 scoreline in Jeon’s and Yang’s favour, three out of the four games went to deuce.
The mixed nationality pairing of Ekholm and Pota, who had proved a successful team in September when they won gold at the 2016 Czech Open, had the fans on the edge of their seats right down to the last point but it was the Korean combination of Jeon and Yang came out of the tie as the happier of the two pairings (5-11, 13-11, 13-11, 12-10).
Saturday 19th November: Women’s Doubles – Main Draw