by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.4 seeds , experienced a four games defeat at the hands of Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Grigory Vlasov (5-11, 11.5, 11-5, 11-4); Harmeet Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh, the no.7 seeds, lost to Germany’s Kilian Ort and Qiu Dang. They were beaten by the very narrowest of five game margins (7-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9).
Two defeats for India but there was a bright note; Amalraj Anthony and Sanil Shetty, the no.5 seeds, accounted for the host nation’s Artur Grela and Amuel Kulczycki (5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-5).
Problems for India; other than for the host nation’s Robert Floras and Daniel Gorak, the no.8 seeds, who were forced to withdraw owing to latter absent injured and thus affording a walk-over to Korea’s Cho Daeseong and Kim Donghyun, the two Indian pairings were the only seeds to experience defeat in the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event in Spala.
However there were close calls. Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds, needed the full five games to beat Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet (10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-1), as did their colleagues Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, the no.6 seeds. They found the Belarus combination of Aliaksandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov most worthy adversaries (6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8).
Likewise, there was a close call for Jiang Tianyi and Lam Siu Hang, the no.3 seeds, they were extended the full distance by Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz and Abdullah Yingeler (9-11, 11-7. 12-15, 11-5, 11-2).
Success for Jiang Tianyi and Lam Siu Hang, there was also opening round Men’s Doubles success for Ho Kwan Kit and Ng Pak Nam, the no.2 seeds, they beat the Belgian brothers Laurens Devos and Robin Devos in four games (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6).
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 16th March.