by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The duo recovered from an opening game deficit to beat Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel, the no.6 seeds, in five games (11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8).
“We had a 50:50 chance. I think it was an evenly contested match; it was really hard on serve and receive. I think Natalia played some outstanding shots in the deciding moments; that made the difference.” Dora Madarasz
Disappointment for one noteworthy partnership, for the other seven combinations who had received a direct entry it was success; Hong Kong and China being very much in evidence.
Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching, the top seeds, beat the defensive combination of Russia’s Polina Mikhailova and Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus (11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3); colleagues Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.4 seeds, overcame the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Aneta Kucerova (11-7, 11-5, 12-10).
“We do not often face a doubles pair with this style, it was a challenging match for the first of the morning. We feel good here in Budapest and will do our best in the next round.” Doo Hoi Kem
Good form from Hong Kong pairings; it was exactly the same from China. Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, the no.3 seeds, overcame Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Jennifer Jonsson (11-7, 11-5, 9-11. 11-4), Chen Ke and Wang Manyu, the no.7 seeds, defeated Germany’s Nina Mittelham and Sabine Winter (11-4, 11-7, 11-7).
Defeat for Sweden but there was success, Matilda Ekholm in harness with the host nation’s Georgina Pota and occupying the no.2 seeded position, justified their status. They beat Russia’s Yana Noskova and Mariia Tailakova in three straight games (11-5, 11-4, 11-8).
“It was a very good first match today we were in a good rhythm, the venue is good; we are looking forward to the next round.” Georgina Pota
Meanwhile, in the remaining first round contests, India’s Manika Batra and Mouma Das, the no.5 seeds, accounted for Egypt’s Yousra Helmy and Dina Meshref (11-8, 11-3, 11-5); Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and Canada’s Zhang Mo, the no.8 seeds, ended the hopes of the Ukraine formation comprising the defensive attributes of Ganna Gaponova and the attacking skills of Ievgeniia Vasilyieva (11-9, 11-2, 11-9).
“We felt a bit nervous to start with but this normal, it was our first match in the competition so it is normal to fell tour tummy a bit. We had to take our time as our opponents had an unusual combination of styles . It went well and we are happy.” Sofia Polcanova
At the quarter-final stage Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching meet Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc and Natalia Partyka, Manika Batra and Mouma Das confront Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha. In the lower half of the draw Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam face Chen Ke and Wang Manyu, Sofia Polcanova and Zhang Mo oppose Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota.
“We played together throughout the past year and we have become used to each other. Last year we did well in Spain and Nigeria. Here we have made a good start and now look forward to playing the Chinese pair.” Manika Batra
The matches are scheduled for 2.00pm (local time) on Friday 19th January.