08 Nov 2018

Centre stage earlier in the year when they booked their place in the final of the Men’s Doubles event in China, by beating the host nation’s Ma Long and Xu Xin; once again the combination of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles attracted the attention, as the round to secure places in the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Liebherr Austrian Open, progressed on Wednesday 7th November.

They accounted for Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther, the highest rated partnership on qualification phase duty; they recovered from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful by the narrowest of five game margins (5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Farewell to one notable Men’s Doubles pair and farewell to another.

Protecting a knee injury but hoping to compete in the Men’s Singles event, Ma Long withdrew from the Men’s Doubles event when due to partner colleague Lin Gaoyuan; thus affording Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi a walk-over.

Otherwise for the principal pairs on Men’s Doubles qualification duty it was success. Taiwan’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan accounted for India’s Amalraj Anthony and Harmeet Desai (11-7, 11-4, 11-3); Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi overcame Austria’s Christian Friedrich and Andreas Levenko (11-6, 11-2, 11-2).

Similarly, in the Women’s Doubles qualification competition, there was a surprise. Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu, the second highest rated pair in Austria experienced defeat at the hands Germany’s Petrissa Solja and Sabine Winter, the 2013 European champions; a four games outcome was the result (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9).

Marginally an unexpected outcome, not for the remaining leading pairs; Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota beat the host nation’s Ines Diendorfer and Sophia Kellermann (11-3, 11-2, 11-2), Romania’s Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs overcame the combination supported by the ITTF Foundation and Sportsmaster. They ended the hopes of DPR Korea’s Kim Song I and Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon (11-6, 11-8, 11-5).

Likewise, China’s Liu Gaoyang and Zhang Rui, the runners up three days ago in Stockholm imposed their authority on proceedings, they ended the hopes of Japanese teenagers Miyu Nagasaki and Satsuki Odo but they were tested; they needed the full five games in order to succeed (11-6, 13-15, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7).

Surprise outcomes in the qualification stage of the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events, it was the same in the Mixed Doubles competition.

Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gui Lin experienced defeat at the hands of Laurens Tromer and Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (11-13, 15-13, 11-9, 11-6).

One somewhat surprise outcome; for the other leading pairs it was success. China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, arguably favourites for gold but required to qualify, accounted for Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Izabela Lupulesku (11-2, 11-5, 11-6). In a similar vein, Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs beat Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov and Giorgia Piccolin (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9).

Meanwhile not to be overlooked, India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra ended the aspirations of Andrea Landrieu and Marie Migot of France (11-7, 11-3, 12-10).

Success for Sharath Kamal Achanta and there was revenge; earlier in the year at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, partnering Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, in the gold medal contest it had been defeat at the hands of England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford.

In Linz that decision was reversed; the Indian duo prevailed in a full distance five games qualification engagement (11-7, 13-11, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7).

World Tour Alvaro Robles Ovidiu Ionescu

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Qualification Day 1 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open