by Simon Daish
The home side were on the back foot right from the start of the tie with Wang Ting Ting’s defeat to Carole Grundisch (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8) handing Metz TT the early momentum but Girbau Vic TT responded quickly through Ni Xialian who accounted for Liu Xin across five games (11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7).
Ana Garcia then put the home side ahead for the first time in the tie with her superb comeback win against Pauline Chasselin (8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10), however, with Wang Ting Ting losing out to Liu Xin (11-8, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10) a fifth and deciding fixture was required.
Gaining confidence from her win earlier in the match, Ni Xialian secured a positive result from her encounter with Carole Grundisch (11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9) to give the Spanish outfit a crucial lead heading into the 2nd leg of the final on Friday 18th May.
Home success in the 1st leg of the Women’s ETTU Cup final but that wasn’t the case in the opening fixture of the Men’s ETTU Cup final on Sunday 13th May as Chartres ASTT failed to hold Polish opponents K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo at bay.
Victories from Wong Chun Ting and Wang Yang in the opening two matches got the ball rolling for K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo with Robert Gardos (11-8, 11-4, 11-7) and Pär Gerell (11-9, 11-3, 6-11, 11-6) falling to early defeats.
Alexandre Robinot ensured that the home team wouldn’t come away from the tie empty-handed following his straight games success against Jiri Vrablik (12-10, 11-4, 11-9) but a second win for Wang Yang in his match against Robert Gardos (11-8, 11-2, 11-5) sees K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo take a 3-1 lead into the return leg which, like the 2nd leg of the Women’s ETTU Cup, is scheduled for Friday 18th May.