21 Sep 2018

Runners up earlier this year on the ITTF Challenge Series in Zagreb; for the combination of Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota, there was success as play commenced at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante on the morning of Friday 21st September.

The top seeds, in the second round of the Women’s Doubles event, they accounted for the French combination of Stéphanie Loueillette and Oceane Guisnel, the no.16 seeds (11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 12-10).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, for another partnership that had also been runners up on this year’s ITTF Challenge Series, it was defeat; the combination of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, silver medallists in Spala and the no.4 seeds in Alicante, suffered at the hands of Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and Russia’s Yana Noskova, the no.10 (11-8, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5).

It was to prove the only upset of the round, as favourites imposed their authority on proceedings.

Additional to Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota, Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs, the no.2 seeds, accounted for Austria’s Liu Jia and Amelie Solja, the no.15 seeds (11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 16-14) on what proved a good round for Romania. Also, Adina Diaconu and Irina Ciobanu emerged successful; they beat fellow qualifiers Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova and Eva Odorova (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5).

“Liu is a very experienced player and it is always difficult to play against her but Bernadette and I understand each other very well. We have a good connection.” Elizabeta Samara

Success for Romania; there was also notable success for Germany. Petrissa Solja and Sabine Winter, the no.7 seeds and winners in Schwechat in 2013, accounted for the combination of the Czech Republic’s Dana Cechova and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.14 seeds (11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7). Likewise Kristin Lang and Nina Mittelham, the no.13 seeds, ended the hopes of Portuguese qualifiers Fu Yu and Shao Jieni (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).

Impressive performances, it was the same from Luxembourg’s Ni Xialian and Sarah de Nutte, the no.3 seeds, as it was from the combination of Li Jie of the Netherlands and Poland’s Li Qian, the no.5 seeds and bronze medallists at the 2015 World Championships in Suzhou. Ni Xialian and Sarah de Nutte overcame Hungary’s Dora Madarsz and Szandra Pergel, the no.9 seeds (5-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9); Li Jie and Qian ended the aspirations of Spain. They beat Galia Dvorak and Maria Xiao, the no.11 seeds (11-3, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3).

The quarter and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Saturday 22nd September.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Georgina Pota Matilda Ekholm Hana Matelova Dora Madarsz

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