by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Required to compete in the qualification tournament, against all the odds they accounted for the Romanian combination of Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs, the no.4 seeds. The Croatian duo emerged successful in a dramatic five games duel decided by the very narrowest of margins (8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 16-14).
The win recorded by Ivana Malobabic and Petra Petek overshadowed the one other upset in the opening round of the Women’s Doubles event; colleagues Klara Cakol and Ida Jazbec beat Chinese Taipei’s Liu Yu-Hsin and Wang Yi-Ju, the no.7 seeds (4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10).
Success for two Croatian pairs contrary to expectations, for the third it was as expected; Mirela Durak and Mateja Jeger, the no.8 seeds, beat Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Klaudia Kusinska (11-9, 11-5, 11-9).
Impressive from Mirela Durak and Mateja Jeger, it was the same from Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, as it was from the combination of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.2 seeds. Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato beat Croatia’s Dorina Srebrnjak and Sun Jiayi (11-9, 11-4, 11-2); Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota ended the hopes of the partnership formed by Norway’s Ilka Doval and Israel’s Nicole Trosman (11-4, 11-7, 11-9).
Meanwhile, in the remaining opening round contests in the Women’s Doubles event, the pairing of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.3 seeds, overcame Spain’s Galia Dvorak and Maria Xiao (11-4, 11-5, 11-7); likewise the combination of Slovenia’s Alex Galic and Switzerland’s Rachel Moret, the no.5 seeds, beat Russia’s Anastasia Kolish and Mariia Tailakova (11-7, 11-9, 11-6).
Impressive performances, it was the same from the combination of Russia’s Polina Mikhailova and Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus. The no.6 seeds, beat Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Dragana Vignjevic (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8).
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 13th April.