by Simon Daish
Needing just one win to progress following their 3-0 success in the 1st leg and it didn’t take long for Dr. Casl to fulfill that goal with Ni Xia Lian showing Camelia Iacob how it’s done in quick fashion (12-10, 11-7, 11-8).
Shao Jieni and Maria Dolgihk hit back with strong outings against Li Jie (11-9, 6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8) and Doo Hoi Kem (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8) – with the score sitting at 1-2 to the visitors Shao Jieni brought matters to a close, prevailing over Ni Xia Lian across four games (11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7). Defeat for Dr. Casl but a spot in the penultimate round awaits the Croatian outfit.
Three fixtures still remain undecided – we do, however, know which teams hold the advantage in the race to join reigning champions Dr. Casl in the semi-finals.
Contesting the 1st leg of the quarter-finals in front of their fans SKST Mart Hodonin-Stavoimpex chalked up another impressive win in this season’s Champions League, seeing off TTC Berlin Eastside by a 3-1 margin.
Guo Ruichen emerged victorious in her meetings with Georgina Pota (6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 13-11) and Shan Xiaona (7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8) while Iveta Vacenovska also got in on the action, beating Shan Xiaona in four games (11-8, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5). But the German champions still remain with an outside chance of progressing after Nina Mittelham picked up a valuable win against Natalia Partyka (11-7, 13-15, 14-12, 11-4) to reduce the deficit.
KTS Enea Siarka Tarnobrzeg put in an impressive away performance in Portugal, claiming a commanding 3-1 win against tournament newcomers Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Falling behind the Polish side were forced to respond quickly with Han Ying edging to a tight victory over Li Fen (11-6, 12-14, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6). Li Qian then put the visitors in front, beating Zhenqi Barthel Apolonia without dropping a game (11-2, 11-9, 11-2) before Han Ying completed her brace with a straight games success against Daniela Monteiro Dodean (11-7, 11-9, 11-8).
Soo Wai Yam Minnie was the standout player for Linz AG Froschberg in their encounter with Metz TT, producing victories over Ding Yaping (7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7) and Adina Diaconu (11-8, 11-6, 11-9). Sofia Polcanova played her part, prevailing over Adina Diaconu in straight games (13-11, 11-4, 15-13) as the Austrian team took home a narrow, but important 3-2 lead.