06 May 2017

The final day of the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open has arrived and Saturday 6th May promises to deliver spectators with an exciting conclusion to the action in Croatia.

While the two Under 21 competitions concluded on Day Two, there is plenty to look forward with silverware available in the two singles and doubles events.

by Simon Daish

The opening title deciding encounter of the day sees Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos of Belarus take on the top seeded pairing from Japan Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in the battle for the Women’s Doubles prize.

Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos booked their place in the final following a positive semi-finals display against the host nation’s Mirela Durak and Mateja Jeger (11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 12-10), while Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato breezed through their semi-finals fixture against Lee I-Chen and Liu Hsing-Yin of Chinese Taipei without dropping a game (11-7, 11-8, 14-12).

There is also the fight for the title in the Men’s Doubles competition, as two unexpected pairs of finalists prepare to battle it out for the trophy.

Unseeded for the event, Viktor Brodd and Hampus Nordberg of Sweden will face the no.5 seeds Tomas Konecny and Tomaš Polansky of the Czech Republic following their respective successes over Korea Republic’s Choi Wonjin and Lee Jungwoo (15-17, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) and the French partnership of Tristan Flore and Abdel-Kader Salifou (11-4, 12-10, 11-5).

Alongside the two doubles events there are still matches to be played in the two singles categories, with the action starting from the semi-finals stage.

Honoka Hashimoto will head into the day as the considerable favourite to prevail in the Women’s Singles competition, but despite being the highest seeded player remaining in the draw the Japanese contestant will first have to negotiate a difficult last four tie against Saki Shibata.

The other Women’s Singles semi-final takes place in the top half of the draw, with the sixth seed Sofia Polcanova going up against the eighth seed Suthasini Sawettabut for a spot in the final.

One of the standout results in the Men’s Singles quarter-finals saw the top seed Kou Lei of Ukraine make a shock exit to Tristan Flore, and the reward for the Frenchman is a meeting with India’s Harmeet Desai in the penultimate stage of the tournament.

Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth are expected to play out an exciting duel in the other Men’s Singles semi-final, as the second and fifth seeded players look to boost their title winning chances by reaching the trophy match.

Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Saki Shibata Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Jonathan Groth Sofia Polcanova Panagiotis Gionis Tomas Polansky Tristan Flore Suthasini Sawettabut Daria Trigolos Harmeet Desai Nadezhda Bogdanova Tomas Konecny Hampus Nordberg Viktor Brodd

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