Tournaments

21 Sep 2018

Winners earlier in the year in April at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on the far east coast of Australia, on Friday 21st September, at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante on the east coast of Spain, it was a second round Men’s Doubles exit for England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford; furthermore, it was a somewhat surprise exit.

The no.5 seeds, they were beaten by Russia’s Kirill Skachkov and Alexander Shibaev, the no.13 seeds, in what proved the closest contest of the round (11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Defeat for Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford but for England there was success from a somewhat unexpected source. Sam Walker partnering Denmark’s Tobias Rasmussen for the very first time at an international tournament, the duo required to compete in the qualification stage of proceedings, accounted for Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the no.9 seeds. Moreover, they prevailed in four straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10).

Surprise outcomes; otherwise in the second round of the Men’s Doubles event, the results were as predicted.

Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the top seeds, beat Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho and Diogo Chen (11-3, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3); likewise, Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, the no.2 seeds, progressed in some style. They beat the partnership formed by Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic (11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8).

“Karakasevic is very good in the short game, so we had to stop him. We were aggressive” Mattias Falck

Defeats for two pairs who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, it was the same for two more of likewise ilk and a reversal of fortunes for Sweden. Truls Moregard and Jon Persson suffered at the hands of Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habeshon, the no.4 seeds and champions in 2012 in Herning (14-12. 11-8, 11-4, 11-8). Similarly it was the end of adventures for the combination of Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos and Romania’s Hunor Szocs; Frenchmen Simon Gauzy and Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.8 seeds, signalled journey’s end (11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8).

“We moved well an we were very aggressive; this combination was very dangerous.” Simon Gauzy

Disappointment for Spain with the departure of Jesus Cantero but for the host nation there was success; Alvaro Robles and Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu, the no.7 seeds, accounted for Poland’s Marek Badowski and Patryk Zatowka (6-11, 17-15, 11-7, 11-3, 13-11).

Success for the seventh seeds, it was the same from the no.3 seeds; Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther. They ended the progress of the defensive combination formed by Panagiotis Gionis of Greece and Slovakia’s Wang Yang, the no.12 seeds (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7).

“It was very strange situation for me. We had to play against two players with a defensive style and both of them are very different one from each other. We knew we had to attack, we could not afford any easy mistakes.” Ricardo Walther

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

2018 Liebherr European Championships Paul Drinkhall Liam Pichford
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Day 6 - Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships