By Neha Aggarwal
Earlier in the day, they beat the Americans in a nail biting five games (9-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9,7-11) in the second round of the mixed doubles preliminary stage.
Interestingly, the Americans are a pretty strong pair. Wu Yue, the Pan American champion in 2016, and Kanak Jha, the youngest participant from USA at the Rio Olympics, 2014 North America Cup winner, and 2016 US National Champion.
Debora Vivarelli, who is playing her eighth World Championship looked just fresh and in shape for the match, “We didn’t know the Americans so well that is why we tried to be a bit more aggressive and not make easy mistakes. I also followed what Stoyanov had to say pretty well.”
The chemistry was evident. Vivarelli complemented Stoyanov in just the perfect way he wanted to, following his instructions and delivering what he expected.
Later in the evening, they overcame a stronger pair of Azerbaijan Yang Xinyu and Zhou Chuti in three straight games (12-10, 11-8, 11-8)
“He is like my coach. At every point he tells me what to do. He does the thinking part of the game, and I am happy to follow suit.”- Debora Vivarelli.
The pair trained hard for the World Championships this time as they saw potential as a pair, making a good appearance at the European Table Tennis Championships last year where they reached the round of 16, loosing to Ividiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs (ROU).
Niagol Stoyanov, currently ranked 155th on the global charts, agreed. “You always have to be mentally free in doubles. We try to have each other’s backs all the time. It’s important to understand that it’s alright to make mistakes. But as partners, we try to understand each other’s strengths and weakness and then make the right choices.”
“All of us are used to play singles, we train more for singles. Thus is makes it important to know your partner even better in doubles,” he added.
With this, they successfully qualify for the main draw and will play the round one starting at 18:30 local time.