30 Apr 2017

Hitomi Sato versus Honoka Hashimoto; it has been the Women’s Singles final at the two previous ITTF Challenge Series tournaments staged this year, in both Belarus and Thailand the two Japanese defenders met with the former prevailing on each occasion.

On the morning of Sunday 30th April at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenian Open, Hungary’s Georgina Pota ended a possible repeat.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.4 seed, she underlined her increasing confidence against the defensive style of play by beating Honoka Hashimoto, the no.5 seed, in four straight games (11-9, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8) to reserve her place in the title deciding contest.

“It was first time I have played against her and I knew it was going to be challenging as she is one of Japan´s young stars. Even if it was a straight four-nil result, it was not so easy as it looked, there were many long rallies and I am happy I was able to keep a good level through the entire match.” Georgina Pota

Currently Geogina Pota plays in the German Bundesliga for TTC Berlin Eastside; where the coach is former Russian international Irina Palina, a defensive player of note who formed a very successful doubles partnership with Elena Timina, now the national coach for the Netherlands.

“At my club in Berlin and I have Irina Palina as the coach. She has helped me improve a lot against defence; so this helped me a lot in my preparation. I am very satisfied with my entire performance throughout the tournament as I was considering cancelling after having a bad last week at training. Here in Slovenia I faced some difficulties against Asian players´ service techniques and their attack on the first ball but happy I was able to manage.” Georgina Pota

Success against one Japanese defender, now for Georgina Pota another awaits; in the final she meets Hitomi Sato, the top seed.

In the opening match of the day, she accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu, the no.23 seed (11-3, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5).

Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Georgina Pota Cheng Hsien-Tzu

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