16 Nov 2018

Full distance five games duels, success recorded by narrow margins; such contests very much attracted the attention as the first round of the Women’s Doubles event progressed at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk on Friday 16th November.

Furthermore, they all had one factor in common, they all produced upsets.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Making their first appearance on the international stage, China’s Guo Ruichen and He Aige accounted for the French partnership of Laura Gasnier and Audrey Zarif, the no.4 seeds, by the very narrowest margins (7-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11). Likewise by the minimal two point margin, the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Aneta Kucerova ended the hopes of Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Danielle Konsbruck, the no.3 seeds (6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9).

Meanwhile, only very slightly more comfortably, the Korea Republic partnership of Kim Hayeong and Lee Eunhye overcame Japan’s Miyuu Kihara and Yumeno Soma, the no.7 seeds (11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).

In fact of the seeded partnerships only one, Croatia’s Mateja Jeger and Sun Jiayi, the no.5 seeds emerged successful when required to raise rackets in anger. The Czech Republic’s Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova, the top seeds, received a walk-over when due to face Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Magdalena Sikorska; a situation that applied also to Japan’s Satsuki Odo and Saki Shibata, the no.2 seeds. They were not required to enter the arena when due to face Ukraine’s Ganna Fardalanska and Ansastasiya Yepifantseva.

Responding to the challenge, Mateja Jeger and Sun Jiayi ended the hopes of Italy’s Chiara Colantoni and Giorgia Piccolin (11-1, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8).

Otherwise, for seeded pairs it was the end of the road and the end of the road for the host nation.

Maharyta Baltushite and Nadezhda Bogdanova, the no.8 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Chantal Mantz and Wan Yuan (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9): Hungary’s Bernadett Balint and Leonie Hartbricht, the no.6 seeds, lost to the Korea Republic’s Lee Sobong and Yu Sora (11-8, 11-5, 11-6).

The quarter-final matches in the Women’s Doubles event commence play on Saturday 17th November.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open He Aige Guo Ruichen

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open