05 May 2017

Top seeds, winners earlier in the year in Thailand, the Japanese duo of Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato duly reserved their place in the Women’s Doubles final at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open following success on Friday 5th May.

However, for their counterparts, the Hungarian combination of Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the Men’s Doubles top seeds, it was a very different outcome.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Defensive skills to the fore, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato overcame Hong Kong qualifiers Lam Yee Lok and Liu Qi (11-8, 11-7, 11-7), prior to reserving their place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Lee I-Chen and Liu Hsing-Yin, the no.3 seeds (11-8, 11-7, 14-12).

Conversely, in the Men’s Doubles event, it was a quarter-final exit for Hungary. Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi experienced defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny and Tomas Polansky, the no.5 seeds (11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7).

Good form in the round of the last eight pairs; that form was maintained in the penultimate round against a pair very much in unison. The Czech duo accounted for the French partnership comprising Tristan Flore and Abdel-Kader Salifou, the no.6 seeds (11-4, 12-10, 11-5); the quarter-final winners in opposition to Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan, the no.4 seeds (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9).

The outcome is that both Tomas Konecny and Tomas Polansky as well Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato face pairs in who had to negotiate the qualification stage.

Tomas Konecny and Tomas Polansky confront the Swedish combination of Victor Brodd and Hampus Nordberg; Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato oppose the Belarus partnership formed by Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos.

Impressively Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos accounted for Romanian qualifiers Adina Diaconu and Andreea Dragoman at the quarter-final stage, before in the penultimate round ending the hopes of the host nation. They beat Mirela Durak and Mateja Jeger, the no.8 seeds (11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 12-10).

Noteworthy wins but even though opposing fellow qualifiers, I would suggest the efforts of Victor Brodd and Hampus Nordberg were even more noteworthy.

After recovering from a two games to nil deficit against the combination of Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Finland’s Benedek Olah (8-11, 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6), they beat Korea’s Choi Wonjin and Lee Jungwoo (15-17, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) the winners the previous week in Slovenia.

The final of the Women’s Doubles event is scheduled for Saturday 5th May and will be followed immediately by the Men’s Doubles final.


Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Tomas Polansky Tomas Konecny

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