by Wade Townsend
Tatyana Bilenko (UKR) and Viktoria Pavlovich (BLR) have sensationally knocked out the number one seeds in the first round of the Women’s Doubles at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships.
The defensive duo defeated top seeds Georgina Pota (HUN) and Matilda Ekholm (SWE) 4-2.
Meanwhile the German crowd were left disappointed after Sabine Winter and Benedikt Duda went down 11-9 in the seventh against Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Lisa Lung.
“I think the pressure was for them when they have a crowd like this. You have to tell yourself in your head that since you are not the favourites they will be experiencing the pressure in this situation much more. Lisa held her service and receive really well; they were stronger in the rallies but we were better in the short short game.” Cédric Nuytinck
In the Men’s Doubles the Japanese pairing and number one seed, Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono, survived their first test on their journey to the podium.
Facing off against Marcos Freitas (POR) and Andrej Gacina (CRO) in the opening round, things were never going to be a walk in the park.
“I think they are the best pair from qualification, so we were very nervous before the match. But we watched some video and looked for tactics. Next round there will very strong pairs so we will have to look for new tactics.” Masataka Morizono
The top seeds defended their ranking and won 4-0.
With the Women’s Doubles top seed falling short in the first round, how is Morizono coping with the pressure?
“I don’t think too much about being number one seed; if you do that you’ll be too nervous and have no chance.” Masataka Morizono
And finally, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Adrian Crisan may have gone down 15-13 in the seventh to Patrick Franziska (GER) and Jonathan Groth (DEN), but Ionescu’s act of fair play won over the hearts of the Düsseldorf crowd.