by Ian Marshall, Editor
Seizing the initiative, being adept over the table, executing the first attack was the order of proceedings as play commenced; at that skill in the opening game, Mima Ito proved most able, she created the openings for the lethal Hina Hayata forehand. Level at 6-all, the Japanese duo won five points in a row to secure the game.
Similarly, in the second game, both confident to execute the first attacking stroke over the table, from 5-all, the Japanese duo accelerated to hold four game points at 10-6; the first was saved, not the second.
Now, increasingly confident, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito were proving too fast for their adversaries; in the third game they raced into a 3-0 lead; Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha called “Time Out”. The break was not to prove fruitful for the Chinese duo; at 10-4 Hina Hayata and Mima Ito held six match points, the next three points went to Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha; Hina Hayata and Mima Ito looked at each other thoughtfully. They called “Time Out”. Now an air of tension, they lost the next point but no more; the title was secured.
“We are very happy to finally win against our opponents. I won the singles title in 2016 in Linz and now the doubles title, I am already looking forward to coming back here next year. Dankeschön!” Mima Ito
Notably for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha it was their seventh career appearance as a partnership at a Seamaster ITTF World Tour tournament; in addition to winning last year in Linz and last week in Stockholm, in 2017 they had also emerged victorious in Tokyo. Meanwhile, more recently they started 2018 by winning in Budapest, before being the runners up in Doha and then once again winners in Hong Kong.
Similarly, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito have enjoyed considerable success in the past two years, in 2014 they had been the runners up in Incheon and one year later in Almeria; gaining in experience in 2017 they succeeded in Olomouc and Stockholm, this year in Bremen and Geelong, now in Linz.