by Simon Daish
Competing against the second seeds and major contenders for the title Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam at the semi-finals stage of the competition, Marek Badowski and Patryk Zatowka came away from the tie with an outstanding straight games victory over the pairing from Hong Kong (11-3, 11-8, 11-8) to move through to the final.
While the Polish partnership’s appearance in the final may come as a surprise, the identities of the players awaiting them in the title match may also turn a few heads with the unseeded team of Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi progressing through the top half of the draw.
Claiming a big scalp earlier in the day with their victory over top seeds Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi (11-8, 11-6, 12-10), the Brazilian pairing of Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi went on to beat fellow qualifiers Alexander Chen and Simon Pfeffer in the penultimate round (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5).
The top seeds in the Women’s Doubles draw also departed earlier than anticipated: winners of four ITTF Challenge Series titles as a partnership but Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato won’t lift the trophy in Otocec following their semi-finals exit to fellow compatriots Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki (12-10, 7-11, 15-13, 11-9).
End of the road for the no.1 seeds but for the second seeded pairing of Ng Wing Nam and Soo Wai Yam Minnie a straight games win against Huang Yu-Wen and Li Yu-Jhun (11-7, 11-4, 11-5) proved enough to seal their place in the final round of the event.
The Women’s Doubles title will be contested on Friday 6th April from 14.00pm (local time) with the Men’s Doubles final set to commence at 14.45pm.