22 Sep 2018

Winners in 2013 in Schwechat, Germany’s Petrissa Solja and Sabine Winter departed proceedings on the morning of Saturday 22nd February at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships; the only previous pairing on duty in Alicante to have won the prestigious title, it means that when the awards are made on the concluding day of play, a new combination will add their name to the list of honours.

The no.7 seeds, at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Doubles event, they were beaten in seven games by the top seeded combination comprising Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota (11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Defeat for Sabine Winter but for the player with whom she won the title two years ago in Budapest there was success.

The only surviving name in Alicante to have ever stood on the top step of the Women’s Doubles podium at a European Championships, Kristin Lang in partnership with colleague, Nina Mittelham, caused the biggest shock of the round.

Occupying the no.13 seeded position, the German duo accounted for Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs, the no.2 seeds, in a contest just as close as that experienced by their compatriots; only they prevailed in seven games (7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7).

Defeat for Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs, it was not the best of times for Romania; as predicted, Adina Ciobanu and Adina Diaconu, who had excelled expectations to reach the round of the last eight pairs, experienced defeat. Required to start their journey in the qualification event, they were beaten by the combination of Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and Russia’s Yana Noskova (9-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Success for Sofia Polcanova and Yana Noskova, there was also success for Luxembourg’s Sara de Nutte and Ni Xialian; the no.3 seeds, they beat the defensive duo comprising Li Jie of the Netherlands and Poland’s Li Qian, the no.5 seeds (13-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9).

A win as seeding advised by considering the margin of victory it was a victory of note and could it even be considered an upset? At the Qoros 2015 World Championships in the Chinese city of Suzhou, Li Jie and Li Qian reached the Women’s Doubles semi-finals.

In the penultimate round Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota meet Sofia Polcanova and Yana Noskova; Ni Xialian and Sarah de Nutte confront Nina Mittelham and Kristin Lang. The matches will be played later in the day in the evening session of play.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Petrissa Solja Sabine Winter

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