09 Mar 2017

Quarter-final places at stake, Romania caused the upsets in the third round of the Junior Boys’ Doubles and Junior Girls’ Doubles events at the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano on Wednesday 8th March.

In the former it was Paul Mladin and Dragos Florin Oprea who upset the pecking order; in the later Luciana Mitrofan and Elena Zaharia.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, do they have a lucky number? Both occupied the no.15 seeded position.

A lucky number, not number two for the host nation, Paul Mladin and Dragos Florin Oprea beat Italy’s Matteo Mutti and Carlo Rossi, the second seeds, by the very narrowest of decisions to reserve their place in the quarter-finals (12-10, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10).

Success against a highly rated pair for Paul Mladin and Dragos Florin, it was the same for their female colleagues. Luciana Mitrofan and Elena Zaharia accounted for the Belarus combination of Marharyta Baltushite and Nadezhda Bogdanova, the no.4 seeds (11-7, 3-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Surprises but there were no more with the remaining leading partnerships establishing their authority on affairs.

Antonino Amato and Daniele Pinto, the no.3 seeds, somewhat compensated for the defeat experienced by colleagues Matteo Mutti and Carlo Rossi; they recorded a third round win against Portugal’s Samuel da Silva and Tiago Li (11-9, 11-7, 11-5).

Opening day in Lignano
Likewise, Germany’s Tobias Hippler and Kay Stumper, the top seeds, beat Spain’s Sergi Grau and Joan Masip (7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6); the combination of Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk and Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.4 seeds, ousted Portugal’s Vitor Amorim and José Pedro Francisco (13-11, 12-10, 11-13, 11-4).

Similarly in the third round of the Junior Girls’ Doubles event; there were successes for the major contenders for honours, Serbia being very much to the fore.

Izabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan, the top seeds, beat Germany’s Franziska Schreiner and Laura Tiefenbrunner (11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-3); Tijana Jokic and Dragana Vignjevic, the no.3 seeds, overcame Slovenia’s Ana Tofant and Aleksandra Vovk (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7).

Meanwhile, not to be upstaged,  the formation of the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova and Tania Plaian, the no.2 seeds, overcame Serbia’s Danijela Karkusova and Andjela Menger (11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9) to reserve their place in the last eight.

Miguel Angel Machado re-elected President of the Royal Spanish Table Tennis Federation
Photos: Domenico Vallorini

World Junior Circuit 2017 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Elena Zaharia Tijana Jokic Dragana Vignjevic Luciana Mitrofan Paul Mladin Dragos Florin Oprea

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