18 May 2017

Eyes focused on a place in the Women’s Class 9-10 semi-finals of at the 2017 World Team Para Championships in Bratislava; the Turkish duo comprising Merve Demir and Neslihan Kavas took a major step towards that goal by causing somewhat of an upset on the late morning of Thursday 18th May.

They beat the Croatian combination of Mirjana Lucic and Sandra Paovic by two matches to one and thus concluded the second series of fixtures as the one unbeaten team in the group.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The previous day Mirjana Lucic and Sandra Paovic had overcome the Israeli combination of Karmit Dor and Inbal Bechar by two matches to one; at the same time the Croatians had accounted for the Romanian partnership of Ioana-Monica Tepelea and Teodoro Preda.

However, against Romania Hilal Turkkan had been introduced into the line-up; she had experienced defeat against Ioana-Monica Tepelea (13-11, 14-12, 7-11, 11-6) The defeat came after Merve Demir and Neslihan Kavas had secured the doubles (11-2, 11-3, 11-4) and before Neslihan Kavas had beaten Teodora Preda to end matters (11-2, 11-4, 11-2).

Against Croatia the name of Hilal Turkkan did not appear in the Turkish selection.

Mirjana Lucic and Sandra Paovic emerged successful in the doubles contest (11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8) but then the tide turned. Neslihan Kavas beat Sandra Paovic (11-5, 11-9, 11-4), before Merve Demir overcame Mirjana Lucic to conclude matters (11-3, 17-15, 6-11, 15-13).

“It was a very tough match but we are very happy to record a win against Croatia. There was a slight advantage for us because Sandra is a Class 6 player but Sandra and Mirjana really showed their hunger to win today. We had chance in the doubles but we let the chance slip. Going to the singles, we were really into the game, and knew that we stand a good chance. Recently at the Slovenian Open, Merve lost to Mirjana. So it was sweet revenge for Merve to win against Mirjana today.” Neslihan Kavas

Defeat for the no.2 seeds, not for the top seeds; in the corresponding group, Brazil’s Bruna Alexandre and Danielle Rauen, having beaten Germany’s Lena Kram and Marlene Reeg by two matches to nil the previous day, maintained the tradition.

They recorded the same margin of victory against the Russian pairing of Olga Komleva-Gorshkaleva and Elena Litvinenko.

 Day Two: 2017 World Para Championships
Photos: Richard Kalocsai

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