20 Aug 2018

Successful one year ago, when beating Japan’s Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura in the final, Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth head the Men’s Doubles seeding at the forthcoming Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open.

Proceedings commence in the Omega Sport Centre on Tuesday 21st August with a two day qualification tournament; the main event commences on Thursday 23rd August.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Like Patrick Franziska from Germany, Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther reserve the second seeded spot ahead of Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi.

They are listed one place ahead of Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, a pair that before the former changed his name, with alphabetical order being the determining factor, was the other around, Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson. Now that’s why he changed his name! Has such a situation ever happened before? I can’t think of one.

Similar to Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, the no.6 seeds in Olomouc, Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson have enjoyed a degree of success when competing in the Czech Republic. In 2012, the inaugural year, they finished in runners up spot, the following year the same fate befell Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn.

Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson suffered at the hands of the Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Seo Hyundeok; Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn lost to Poland’s Pawel Fertikowski and Robert Floras.

Notable pairs but it is the pair sandwiched in between the two European outfits that attracts the attention, Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri. In 2017 they were the runners up in Germany and also in China. Memorably in the latter, at the semi-final stage, they beat the host nation’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the reigning World champions, before losing to colleagues Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura.

A prominent challenge from Japan, it is the same in the Women’s Doubles event, a competition in which the title is not defended.

Last year Hina Hayata and Mima Ito stuck gold. They overcame the combination of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota in the final, the winners one year earlier when accounting for Russia’s Maria Dolgikh and Polina Mikhailova to secure the top prize. Now in 2018, Hina Hayata partners Miu Hirano; as last week when successful in Bulgaria, Kasumi Ishikawa joins forces with Mima Ito.

The Japanese pairings form the respective top two seeded outfits. Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota reserve the no.3 seeded position; Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the host nation’s Hana Matelova complete the top four pairs.

Major challengers for honours but look further down the list, required to play in the qualification tournament, China’s Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui are in harness; last week they were the runners up in Bulgaria, take note.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Czech Open Patrick Franziska Jonathan Groth

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