by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat for Alexey Liventsov and Taras Merzlikin against expectations but they were not alone; three further seeded pairings experienced opening round exits with Russia experiencing more anguish.
Kirill Skachkov and Grigory Vlasov, the no.4 seeds, suffered at the hands of the combination formed by Croatia’s Frane Kojic and Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6).
Likewise Chinese Taipei’s Huang Chien-Tu and Sun Chia-Hung, the no.6 seeds, lost to Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet (11-5, 12-10, 11-13, 7-11, 11-9), whilst for the partnership comprising Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, it was farewell at the hands of Korea’s Choi Wonjin and Lee Jungwoo (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7).
Surprises; it was also the end of the road for the host nation; Deni Kozul and Jan Zibrat experienced defeat at the hands of Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the no.3 seeds in the most closely contested match of the round; they suffered by the minimal margin in the deciding fifth game (4-11. 11-7, 12-14, 11-5, 13-11).
Surprise exits but not for the top seeds; Belgium’s Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck accounted for the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger and Tomas Tregler (11-8, 11-9, 11-5).
The quarter-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 29th April.