27 Oct 2018

A degree of nerves, tense moments but Japan’s Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata emerged the winners of the Women’s Doubles title at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan on the afternoon of Saturday 27th October.

The no.4 seeds, at the final hurdle they beat Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian, the no.2 seeds (15-13, 12-10, 11-4).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Much depended on the experience of Ni Xia Lian, her deft pen-hold grip skills making her the architect of any doubles partnership but facing the very technically correct Japanese duo was a major test.

The task for the Luxembourg duo was undoubtedly to try to win the points quickly; in topspin rallies Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata were the favourites.

In the opening game, rallies were few and far between, after saving one game point, at the fourth attempt Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata prevailed. The second game very much followed the pattern of the first, on the whole rallies brief; at 10-8 after the most entertaining rally of the match, Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata held two game points. Both game points were saved but when Satsuki Odo and Saki Shabata had a third opportunity they converted.

Two games to nil ahead there was now a higher degree of confidence in the Japanese camp; they established an 8-4 lead, they did not lose another point. The title was secured.

It was for both pairs their second appearance in a 2018 ITTF Challenge Series Women’s Doubles final; earlier this year Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian had finished in runners up spot in Spain losing to Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato. Likewise in Thailand, Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata had concluded matters in the silver medal position; in the final they were beaten by the host nation’s Orawan Parang and Suthasini Sawettabut.

Now, in De Haan it was one step higher for Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, again the same step for Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Saki Shibata Satsuki Odo Sarah De Nutte Ni Xia Lian

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

Match Highlights