by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Each needed a partner; a stroke of sheer genius, Didier Leroy, the Competition Manager, paired the two together.
After a somewhat shaky start, the left handed attacking skills of Dina Meshref gelled with the similar attributes of the right handed Debora Vivarelli.
In their opening qualification contest in they beat Sweden’s Filippa Bergand and Christina Källberg by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11), prior to reserving their place in the main draw courtesy of success against Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos, the second highest rated pair on preliminary phase duty, in a rather less dramatic manner (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2).
“We spoke after the first match and we felt our styles complemented each other; Deborah plays with a lot of spin and that really helped me.” Dina Meshref
“Dina is good with the short game, good over the table and that created opportunities for me; next week we play in Spain but not together; we’d like to play together again, I’ll ask my association.” Debora Vivarelli
Success for the top seeds; there was also success for the second seeds in the opening round of the Women’s Doubles event. Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito beat Thailand’s Tamolwan Khethuan and Nanthana Komwong (11-6, 11-9, 12-10).
Results as expected but there were two surprises. Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xialian accounted for Germany’s Han Ying and Shan Xiaona, the no.7 seeds (11-9, 13-1, 4-11, 11-8); the combination of Spain’s Maria Xiao and Canada’s Zhang Mo ended the aspirations of the host nation’s Linda Bergström and Jennifer Jonsson (11-8, 13-11, 13-11).
Both quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 17th November.