Tournaments

20 Sep 2018

Runners up two years ago in Budapest, the goal to climb one step higher in Alicante and secure Mixed Doubles gold, the ambitions of Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Matilda Ekholm, were thwarted on the early afternoon of Thursday 20th September at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships.

They experienced a quarter-final defeat.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success in their opening contest of the day against Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.16 seeds (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9) but in their next encounter it was defeat at the hands of Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja, the no.7 seeds (11-9, 11-6, 13-11); the German pair having one round earlier ousted qualifiers Portugal’s Diogo Chen and Shao Jieni (11-8, 11-4, 11-6).

“They are very good, last year’s finalists and this was very a difficult match for us. We could not afford to be passive, we attacked very much. We were very aggressive.” Patrick Franziska

Success for Germany and there was further success, only on this occasion anticipated. Ruwen Filus and Han Ying, the no.2 seeds, beat Swedish qualifiers Truls Moregard and Christina Källberg (11-4, 11-5, 11-6), prior to ousting Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs, the no.5 seeds (11-4, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

“We have not had many opportunities to play together but as the Championships progress we are getting better and better. Against the Romanian pairings we were very good at the beginning. However, they started to play much better and we had to change the pace of the play. We had to finish the match quickly in order to prevent a surprise.” Han Ying

Progress as anticipated for Ruwen Filus and Han Ying, it was the same for Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova, the no.4 seeds; however, for the host nation’s Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak, the no.3 seeds, it was journey’s end.

Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova beat the French partnership of Emmanuel Lebesson and Pauline Chasselin (11-8, 11-9, 11-6), prior to ousting Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the no.8 seeds (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-6).

Conversely for Alvaro Robles and Galia Dvorak, it was a quarter-final exit; after narrowly overcoming England’s Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho, the no.10 seeds (11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8), they were beaten by arguably the most successful pair in the history of the competition. They suffered at the hands of four times winners, the combination of Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Lithuania’s Ruta Paskauskiene, the no.9 seeds. They were beaten in five games (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-4).

One round earlier, Aleksandar Karakasevic and Ruta Paskauskiene had ousted Russia’s Alexander Shibaev and Polina Mikhailova (12-10, 11-5, 11-5).

At the quarter-final stage Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja meet Stefan Fegerl and Sofia Polcanova, Aleksandar Karakasevic and Ruta Paskauskiene confront Ruwen Filus and Han Ying.

The Mixed Doubles event will be played to a conclusion on Friday 21st September.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Matilda Ekholm Patrick Franziska Petrissa Solja Mattias Falck
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Day 6 - Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships