03 Nov 2017

A tournament littered with shocks, upsets and surprises; as the penultimate day of play, Friday 3rd November, came to a conclusion in De Haan at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open, there was an air of sanity to proceedings.

The top seeds in the both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events emerged successful at the semi-final stage of proceedings and thus kept their hope of standing on the top step of the podium when the event concludes, very much alive.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

However, true to tradition there was one unexpected outcome; Korea’s Lee Zion and Song Maeum, a partnership which had commenced their journey in the qualification stage, continued their good form.

They ended the hopes of Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin, the no.6 seeds (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3) on what was not the best of evenings for Chinese Taipei; in the corresponding penultimate round engagement, colleagues Huang Yu-Chiao and Lin Chia-Hui, also qualifiers, experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3).

Success for the top seeds in the penultimate round of the Women’s Doubles event, it was the same in the Men’s Doubles competition and with an added bonus.

Impressively, the host nation’s Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck ended the adventures of Russian qualifiers, Sadi Ismailov and Denis Ivonin (11-8, 11-7, 11-7).

In the final they meet the German combination of Patrick Franziska and Ricardo Walther, the no.2 seeds; in the corresponding semi-final contest, they overcame India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.4 seeds; they emerged successful in a keenly contested five games duel (11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5).

“It’s great to be in the final. The Belgian crowd will have someone to support and my family and friends can come to watch tomorrow. We played very good and made no mistakes in our matches today; with this form we can do something in the final but for me the German pair is the favourite.” Cédric Nuytinck

The finals’ programme is scheduled to commence at 2.00pm (local time) on Saturday 4th November; the Women’s Doubles final is first on the agenda.


Challenge Series 2017 Belgium Open Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Cedric Nuytinck Robin Devos

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Day 3 - 2017 Belgium Open