20 Sep 2018

Runners up two years ago in Budapest, the top seeds in Alicante; the Swedish combination of Mattias Falck and Matilda Ekholm made a successful start to their Mixed Doubles campaign at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships, as play came to a conclusion on the evening of Wednesday 19th September.

However, progress was not without moments of alarm; facing the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek and Hana Matelova, they lost the opening game and came perilously close to losing the second, before eventually emerging victorious (4-11, 12-10, 11-3, 13-11).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success for Mattias Falck and Matilda Ekholm; there was also success for the other leading pairs in the opening round of proceedings.

Notably Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Han Ying, the no.2 seeds, accounted for the French pairing of Joe Seyfried and Laura Gasnier (11-5, 11-5, 11-8); in a slightly more exacting encounter the host nation’s Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak, the no.3 seeds, overcame Italy Mihai Bobocica and Debora Vivarelli (11.8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9). Meanwhile, Austria’s Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova, the no.4 seeds, ended the hopes of the combination formed by England’s Paul Drinkhall and Charlotte Carey from Wales (11-9, 11-8, 11-7).

Fine starts for the top four pairs, likewise, aiming for an unprecedented fifth European Championships Mixed Doubles title, the tried and trusted partnership of Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Lithuania’s Ruta Paskauskiene, the no.9 seeds, emerged successful in their opening encounter. They beat Poland’s Marek Badowski and Natalia Bajor (11-3, 10-12, 11-3, 14-12).

Wins as anticipated but there were opening round surprises, four in number.

Hungary’s Bence Majoros and Georgina Pota, the no.11 seeds, lost to Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic and Ni Xialian (11-6, 11-6, 11-7); similarly, Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Maria Xiao, the no.12 seeds, suffered at the hands of Portugal’s Diogo Chan and Shao Jieni (11-6, 11-4, 12-10).

Likewise, in a similar vein, in the closest contest of the round, Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov and Giorgia Piccolin beat Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka, the no.13 seeds (3-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-16, 12-10); also in a full distance duel, Truls Moregard and Christina Källberg halted the aspirations of Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Lisa Lung, the no.15 seeds (11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 5-11, 11-4).

The second round and quarter-finals of the Mixed Doubles event will be played on Thursday 20th September.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Mattias Falck Matilda Ekholm

No results found.