by Simon Daish
Maria Dolgikh and Polina Mikhailova were participating in their first Women’s Doubles tie of the day having qualified for the last four due to the withdrawal of Germany’s Chantal Mantz and Wan Yuan in the quarter-finals.
The lack of play earlier in the day for the no.1 seeds from Russia seemed to have a detrimental effect on their chances against Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi in the semi-finals, as they struggled to get into the tie losing out in straight games to their opponents from China.
Unseeded for the Women’s Doubles draw the partnership of Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi looked the more comfortable of the two pairings right from the start of the semi-finals encounter, and following the capture of games one and two the Chinese duo went on to seal the victory with a powerful nine point winning margin in the third end providing Chen Xingtong and Li Jiayi with their spot in the final (11-5, 11-7, 11-2).
“It is a very good start to the year for us reaching the semi-finals, we are really happy about it. We did our best and we tried whatever we could to stop them, unfortunately it was not enough this time”, said Polina Mikhailova following the semi-finals defeat.
Hungary will be represented in a final at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, after Georgina Pota and her doubles partner from Sweden Matilda Ekholm managed to come through their match in the semi-finals.
Lin Chia-Hsuan and Lin Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei had been responsible for the exits of two Hungarian pairings prior to the semi-finals, but this time around it was the host nation’s time to celebrate as Georgina Pota and Matilda Ekholm registered a 3-1 scoreline (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8) to keep their hopes of the title win alive.
“This semi-final was quite tough mentally as we had to always be accurate there was no room for mistakes because they capitalized on them. We could keep calm and focus all the way through and now we are in the final!”, Matilda Ekholm.
The Women’s Doubles final will take place on Sunday 22nd January at 14:00 (GMT).