by Ian Marshall, Editor
The top seeds and listed in the no.4 spot on the current Standings, they came close to defeat at the quarter-final stage of proceedings and even closer in the penultimate round.
On both occasions, they faced pairs who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament.
In the first instance they withstood a spirited fightback by China’s Zheng Peifeng and Zhu Linfeng (11-6, 13-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7), before performing a very similar feat when opposing England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford, Eventually, they emerged successful by the very minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game (11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11).
Notably, one round earlier, Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford had caused a major upset; at the quarter-final stage they had ousted Japan’s Koki Niwa and Jin Ueda, the no.3 seeds (11-3, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6), winners on the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour in Austria just over a year ago, when beating Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther in the final.
Progress in dramatic style, for China’s Ma Long and Xu Xin it was clinical efficiency; the no.2 seeds, they accounted for Czech Republic qualifiers Lubomir Jancarik and David Reitspies (11-8, 11-2, 11-9), prior to reserving their place in the title deciding contest by overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.5 seeds (9-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-4). Earlier at the quarter-final stage, Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju had beaten Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12).
The Men’s Doubles final will be played on the afternoon of Sunday 12th August.