Tournaments

23 Apr 2019

Catch up on all of the updates from across the opening two days at the Liebherr 2019 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Top seeds depart but no upset

Mixed Doubles – Round Two

Defending champions and no.2 seeds, Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa duly negotiated the second round of proceedings; they beat the DPR Korea combination formed by Ham Yu Song and Cha Hyo Sim in four straight games (11-8, 11-9, 18-16, 11-5).

Conversely, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of arguably the best pair in the competition, the players listed at the head of the respective men’s and women’s world rankings. They were beaten by China’s Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning (11-7, 11-9, 18-16, 11-5).

Ding Ning and Fan Zhendong (furthest from camera) end the hopes of Doo Hoi Kem and Wong Chun Ting (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Principal partnership prevail

Women’s Doubles – Round One

Top seeds, the Japanese combination formed by Hina Hayata and Mima Ito emerged successful in their opening round encounter as did China’s Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seeds.

Hina Hayata and Mima Ito beat Croatia’s Clara Cakol and Ivana Tubikanec (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8); Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu overcame the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Aneta Kucerova (11-4, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4).

Leading pairs negotiate opening round

Men’s Doubles – Round One

Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the top seeds, alongside Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the next pair in the order of merit, duly emerged successful in their opening round contests.

Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima beat the host nation’s Tamas Lakatos and Bence Majoros (11-6, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4); Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting accounted for Serbia’s Marko Jevtovic and Zolt Peto (11-2, 12-10, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-2)

Top marks for Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)
Germans advance, Nigerian duo prove worthy opponents

Men’s Doubles Round One

Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska eventually succeed in opposition to Nigeria’s Quadri Auna and Olajide Omotayo but they did experience exacting moments; they needed six games to secure victory (13-11, 11-13, 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-3)

“I think when we were leading Timo changed something in the match and this diffused our tactics. He showed that he has experience and this really came to fore against us in the match. After we lost the fourth game for the match to be at 2-2, we lost concentration and this really affected us to lose the match. I am so excited playing against Timo today and it was a rare privilege playing against such a great player. I think this will motivate me to aim higher in my career.” Olajide Omotayo

Host nation success

Women’s Doubles – Round One

The no.10 seeds, Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Hungary’s Georgina Pota made an ideal start to the campaign; in the opening round they beat Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru (11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4).

“In the first game we were leading 9-3. I cannot explain what actually happened for us to lose. We realized that they were playing very fast, too fast. We decided to change tactics by slowing the game down, our tactics really worked and things started to take shape for us.

I think playing in front of your home crowd puts you under pressure. However, I must say it is 50:50 because when they are there they will cheer and this motivates you.” Georgina Pota

Which celebrity would you play doubles with?

If you could choose any celebrity you wanted as your doubles partner who would you choose? Here’s who some of the players at the World Championships would partner up with:

Victory sets up mouth-watering clash

Mixed Doubles Round One

Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning have crushed the hearts of local fans after inflicting a resounding 4-1 defeat upon the Hungarian duo of Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz (11-1, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5). Success for the Chinese combination sets up a huge encounter in round two where they will meet top seeds Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem.

Another solid display from Ding Ning and Fan Zhendong (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)
Top seeds show their strength

Mixed Doubles Round One

Bronze medallists in 2015 and 2017, Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem are off to a flying start in Budapest. The Hong Kong pair were untroubled throughout the course of their opening round contest, beating Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Elizabeta Samara 4-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5).

Ali Alkhadrawi flies flag for Saudi Arabia

Men’s Singles Preliminary Round

Talented, Ali Alkhadrawi flew the flag for South Africa; he beat Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun in seven games to reserve his main draw place (11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7).

“It was a very difficult match, when I was down 1-3 my coach just told me not to give up. I am very happy and proud to be playing in the main draw of the World Championships. This has been my dream to play in the big stage like the World Championships and I hope to go further now that I am in the main draw. My opponent was very good with the forehand; his attack and service were very difficult for me. I am so happy that I will be playing in the main draw with the best players in the world.” Ali Alkhadrawi

Ali Alkhadrawi caused a major upset (Photo Richard Kalocsai)
Tom Jarvis exceeds his own expectations

Men’s Singles Preliminary Round

England’s Tom Jarvis excelled expectations; he responded to the occasion to beat India’s Amalraj Anthony to reserve his main draw place (117, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3).

“I am a bit in shock making it to the main draw of the World Championships because I did not have any expectation like. I just came here to play more matches. Even when the match was at 3-2, I was just thinking of the tactics and how to win each point. It took my mind away from the outcome of the match. So for me playing in the main draw is amazing and I hope to go further from there. I think this is the reward of hard work and late night training.” Tom Jarvis

Tom Jarvis claims big scalp (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)
Mexican magic

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round Two

A most difficult partnership to face, defensive skills combined with a fearsome forehand top spin; those of Panagiotis Gionis combined with the controlled attacking traits of Ioannis Sgouropoulos. A testing partnership, Mexico’s Marcos Madrid and Ricardo Villa found quick answers; they prevailed in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-9).

“Basically we made sure we put the first ball on the table; not take risks. Play short and look for the chance; also we were confident in rallies. We stayed calm.” Marcos Madrid

“When Panagiotis play towards me, I was comfortable against his heavy backspin play and I block his forehand top spins.” Ricardo Villa

Venezuelan progress continues

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round Two

Venezuela’s Cecilio Correa and Jan Medina, players who paid their own way to be present in Budapest caused a major upse t. The beat Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski and Jajub Dyjas in three straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-7).

“It was perfect, our short play was very good. We had the right tactics, wait for the opportunity and then play with really heavy top spin.” Cecilio Correa

“We tried to make sure that we were the first to attack; also we had to try to win the points quickly, they were fast and good in rallies. Good short play, heavy top spin, today it perfect.”  Jan Medina

Cecilio Correa (nearest camera) and Jan Medina totally focused (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Airi Avameri upsets order, tops group

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 33

Presently listed at no.289 on the world rankings, Estonia’s Ari Avameri caused an upset of some standing as the group stage of the women’s singles event came to a close. The 18 year old accounted for Nigeria’s 43 year old Olufunke Oshonaike, ranked no.134 and a record three times African champion. She prevailed in five games (11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-1).

“I really wanted to win this match but it was difficult for me because my opponent was using long pimples; this really made it hard for me to predict how she will play. She is a good fighter as well. I thought if I could win the second game, it would be a different ball game entirely. The second game was crucial, I won but lost the match. It is very painful for me losing this match because I prepared well for this tournament. I think this is also good preparation for me for the Africa Cup and African Games; I hope to continue my training and work more on myself before these important tournaments later in the year.” Olufunke Oshonaike

“Before the match I asked a lot of people on how to play against her and what they told me was what I made use of in the match. Also my coach told me what to do during the match. I had decided in my head that I cannot lose, I continued to fight for every point. What also made the match difficult was because we play same style and her pimples sometimes confused me. I am happy I won because I needed the win to be able to top the group” Airi Avameri

Classic: Karakasevic sends Danish legend home

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 48

In the battle of experience it was Aleksandar Karakasevic who emerged with a victory to his name – the 43-year-old Serbian player pulled off a mighty comeback from 1-3 down to beat Denmark’s Michael Maze 4-3 (6-11, 7-11, 16-14, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-2) to finish at the summit of the group.

“Despite playing in the second hall, on table 18, the spectators occupied the seats of four tables, nobody passed by without stopping. At the start, Michael Maze was in the driving seat capturing all the points with his intelligent play coupled with his superb ball placement. Even when Aleksandar Karakasevic was down 2-0, the Serbian never gave up as he fought back from 3-1 down to win the classic.” Olalekan Okusan (ITTF Africa Press Officer)

“Playing in this second match of the group, it was like playing the second round of the World Championships in bygone days. It is a bit different now and I love it like this. Maze and I have played several times and he is a good fighter. Our last meeting was at the European Championship and he destroyed me 4-0. You never know what will happen because Maze cannot be predicted. I was lucky in the fourth and fifth games and it was then I began to know that I could win the match. Despite coming back into the game, Maze is really playing well; when we used to play together, we used to play with a lot of top spin but these days, you have to play with power. Maze is still playing well despite coming back into the game after several years of lay-off through injury. ” Aleksandar Karakasevic

“I think I got stressed when I was leading 3-1 and in the match I lost even when I got to 9 points before him. Karakasevic was so consistent in the match and I could not keep my level even when I was up 3-1.” Michael Maze

Aleksandar Karakasevic holds the edge over Michael Maze on this occasion (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Paul Drinkhall staying focused

Men’s Singles Group 20

England’s Paul Drinkhall emerged successful in his concluding group stage contest and thus reserved his place in the main draw. He Tyrese Knight of Barbados in four straight games (11-7, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5).

“I think I had a good group winning this second match 4-0 was a bit easy. I starting in the group matches will would surely help prepare for the main draw. I feel good playing from the group and I think this will put me in good position to be ready for the main draw challenge. I just need to stay focused and take each match as it comes. I know I will meet one of the best players in the main draw and I will just go in there and play my game.” Paul Drinkhall

Marcos Madrid, focused on Tokyo

Men’s Singles Qualification: Group 20

In 2008 he lost the vital Latin American qualification match that would have secured a place in the Beijing Olympic Games; four years later when London was the prize, he did exactly the same. Finally in 2016, he succeeded. Now for Marcos Madrid he is aiming to avoid the same agonies. He secured first place in his initial stage group, accounting for the Czech Republic’s Tomislav Kolarek in four straight games (11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7).

Wining this match was very important for me because getting points from this tournament will help my qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; this tournament is the first step to Tokyo because every win creases my chances. Also, I am also here to cause surprises.

Great sportsmanship

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 41

It’s always refreshing to see the promotion of fair play in amongst the heat of battle, a great example of such sportsmanship came from the host nation’s Tamas Lakatos who immediately indicated that his opponent Akhilen Yogarajah’s shot had clipped the backend of the table. The Hungarian eventually went on to win 4-0 (11-5, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6).

Shock departure, Ng Pak Nam exits

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 18

What a shock! Regarded as one of the favourites to reach the main event but Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam has missed out on achieving that goal despite beating Slovenia’s Jan Zibrat 4-3 (11-7, 4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6). All three players in Group 18 obtained three points with Jan Zibrat (7:5) finishing ahead of Ng Pak Nam (7:7) and Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos (5:7) thanks to a superior games ratio record.

Jan Zibrat reaches main draw (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)
Mexican star moves through

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 8

Down on one knee, a fist pump in the air and a loud roar, Marcos Madrid storms through the qualification process with flying colours. In the Group 8 decider the Mexican prevailed over Croatia’s Tomislav Kolarek in straight games (11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7) to advance as group winner.

“Winning this match was very important for me because getting points from this tournament would help my qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This tournament is the first step to Tokyo… I am also here to cause surprises.” Marcos Madrid

Dyjas continues perfect run

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 1

Jakub Dyjas will appear in the men’s singles main draw after registering his second 4-0 win of Group 1. On Day Two the Polish competitor simply outclassed Estonia’s Vallot Vainula (11-1, 11-7, 12-10, 11-1) to guarantee first position in the group.

Jakub Dyjas progresses (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Kristin Lang secures top spot

Women’s Singles Qualification: Group 13

Germany’s Kristin beat Estonia’s Reelica Hanson to secure first place (11-5, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4).

“Unlike the opening round, I felt much better. Finally, I feel like I am at the tournament. I struggled to get used to the conditions in the venue.” Kristin Lang

Top spot for Karin Adamkova

Women’s Singles Qualification: Group 13

The Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova was very much a players in form; she secured first place in her group by beating Trinidad and Tobago’s Rheann Chung (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

“It was important to have a good start today, so the opening game was crucial. I had never played against her before, so I studied her yesterday. Yesterday I beat Ivana Tubikanec for the first time. In junior and cadets she had beaten me the previous five times.” Karin Adamkova

Izabela Lupulesku focused

Women’s Singles Qualification: Group 4

Impressive on the opening day, Izabela Lupulesku once again imposed her authority on proceedings; she accounted for Portugal’s Raquel Martins five games (11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7).

“I needed only two games to progress to the main draw, so I was very focused from the beginnings. I started well and after I won two games, I took the opportunity to try something different from my usual game. I lost third game, but at least I tried something new.” Izabela Lupulesku

Two defeats but a good experience

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 1

Losing out to Katsiaryna Baravok on the opening day of action, on Day Two there was a second defeat for Lebanon’s Mariana Sahakian who, despite her best efforts, fell to France’s Laura Gasnier (11-4, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3). However, Sahakian remains in good spirits:

“Despite losing two matches in the singles I think I have enjoyed myself in Budapest, particularly having the opportunity to play in the main hall was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. Budapest has been a good experience for me that I was able to play against top players with different style of play. I hope to continue to enjoy the moment in Hungary.” Mariana Sahakian

“I played much better then yesterday. My service game worked well and mentally I was very strong. It was an easier round then the opening one. I did not give her any points from easy mistakes. Now I just hope for a good draw.” Laura Gasnier.

Disappointment for Swiss hopeful

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 2

The top name in her group but Switzerland’s Rachel Moret has missed out on top spot after suffering a disappointing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Sutirtha Mukherjee (14-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9). India’s Mukherjee will move through to the main event, as for Moret she will have to hope her name is drawn in one of only four available “lucky losers” places.

Rachel Moret restricted to runner up spot in Group 2 (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Russian teen tops group

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 3

Carrying on from where she left off yesterday, Russia’s Mariia Tailakova produced another commanding performance in qualification action. The 18-year-old star posted a 4-0 victory over Nepal’s Swechchha Nembang (11-1, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4) to seal top spot in Group 3 and thus qualifies for the main draw.

New partnership, convincing display

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round One

Dominant from start to finish, there was no stopping the partnership of Panagiotis Gionis and Ioannis Sgouropoulos in their opening contest – the Greek pair needed just three games to see off Mexican opponents Jair Jimenez and Miguel Lara (11-7, 11-8, 12-10).

“This is the first time we are playing together in the doubles and it was good we won our match against the Mexicans. Our next match will also be against a Mexican pair, which is stronger than this team. We are hoping to win so that we can make it to the main draw. It is not easy for a defender and attacker to play together but I hope that as we progress we will get to understand each other. We hope we can make it to the main draw which I know will not be easy but we are hoping for a good draw.” – Panagiotis Gionis

Tough start but progress nonetheless

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round One

Trailing by a one game deficit but that wasn’t enough to hold the combination of Chang Hoi Wa and Cheong Chi Cheng back as the Macau duo fought back to beat Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Armin Alicic and Luka Matkovic across five games (11-13, 11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4).

Venezuelan pair a class above

Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round One

It’s a victory for Venezuela as Cecilio Correa and Jan Medina successfully negotiated their opening men’s doubles encounter with little difficulty. At the first hurdle they proved too strong for the mixed association pair of Luxembourg’s Gilles Michely and Latvia’s Arturs Reinholds (11-5, 11-9, 11-8).

“It was not as easy as it may look, we were better in the short play; at 10-7 in the third game, they hit a wonder shot. Unbelievable, I thought take “Time Out” but decided against it.” Cecilio Corea

“We kept it short most of the time, sometimes long to surprise them.” Jan Medina

Day Two underway

The second day of the Liebherr 2019 World Championships has arrived and with it an exciting programme – for detailed information take a look at the fixture schedule below:

TATA Trickshot Challenge

Before the action gets underway, enjoy watching Hugo Calderano taking on the TATA Trickshot Challenge:

Preview Day Two

Take a look at what’s coming your way on Day Two with our quick preview article:

Preview Day Two: Action intensifies, who will take the spotlight?

Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos causes major upset

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 18

Konstantinos Vatsaklis, the coach sitting courtside, the advice given to his charge, Konstantinos Konstantinopoulos of Greece worked to perfection; listed at no.862 on the current world rankings, he caused the biggest upset of the day. He beat Hong Kong’s Ng Pak named at no.102, in a tense seven games encounter (8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8).

“He didn’t start well but after the second game we found some keys; good footwork and a change of rhythm, at the end of the match he was positive.”Konstantinos Vatsaklis

Difficult times for Nigeria

Men’s Singles Qualification

Both the highest rated players in their respective groups there were defeats in the opening matches for Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Olajide Omotayo.

Segun Toriola was beaten by Victor Liu of the United States (11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10), Olajide Omotayo experienced defeat at the hands of Marius Yiangou of Cyprus ((7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-1).

“First, the last three weeks I have not practised. I came here only with hope. The key was in the beginning of the match I was not comfortable, I was not self confident with my strokes but my coach made me believe that I could turn the match around. He gave me confidence and I didn’t give up. I believed that in one moment I could play my game, I could feel my strokes, I believed that I could win the match. I feel good now.” Marius Yiangou

Victor Liu who beat Segun Toriola (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Good start for South American champion

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 20

Crowned South American champion at the beginning of the month, Chile’s Paulina Vega made a successful start to her campaign in Budapest; however she had to adapt to the defensive skills of Moldova’s Natalia Brinza.

She lost the opening game before winning the next four, ever more confident as the match progressed (7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-5, 11-2).

Nightmare overcome

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 4

Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku made a successful start in her efforts to secure a place in the main draw. In her opening group stage contest she beat Singapore’s Wang Xin Rui in five games (14-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8). It appeared to be a win without any anxiety; in fact it was the quite opposite.

“When I knew I had to play on one of the show court tables I had nightmares!” Izabela Lupulesku

Disappointment for Csaba Andras

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 13

Success earlier in the day when he beat Jordan’s Zaid Abo Yaman (13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6), in his second encounter for the host nation’s Csaba Andras, it was defeat. He suffered at the hands of Belgium’s Robin Devos (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8).

“Of course I am happy for my first win but I am not sad about this loss either. I was not able to achieve victory but if we look at my game, my coach just told me that it was fantastic. He beat me with his experience. He has already attended several international competitions, while for me this is the first World Championships in which I participate.” Csaba Andras

Opening success for leading name

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group One

Laura Gasnier of France, the highest rated player on qualification stage duty, emerged successful in her opening encounter but she experienced a severe test; she needed six games to overcome a spirited Katsiaryna Baravok of Belarus (6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 11-4). The crucial phase of the contest being in the fourth game when trailing 8-10, eventually recovering to establish a 3-1 lead.

“I thought I’d lost the fourth game but I was able to find a rhythm to my play; play fast from the backhand close to the table and play with a lot of top spin. However, the most important factor was to fight, keep a good attitude.” Laura Gasnier

Laura Gasnier, top spin play won the day (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Maintaining composure

Women’s Singles Qualification

Latvia’s Sabina Musgrove, Vietnam’s Nguyen Khoa Dieu Khanh and Macao’s Kuok I-Cheng experienced the most severe tests as the first series of matches in the initial stage of the women’s singles event came to a close. All succeeded but all three needed the full seven games to gain the positive verdict.

Sabina Musgrove eventually overcame Trinidad and Tobago’s Catherine Spicer (5-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8), Nguyen Khoa Dieu Khanh beat Anna Hursey of Wales (11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4); Macao’s Kuok I-Cheng accounted for Algeria’s Lynda Loghraibi (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7).

Ajoke Ojomu surprises herself

Women’s Singles Qualification – Group 16

Present at the World Junior Championships in 2013 in Rabat and the following year in Shanghai but since that time education taking precedence; Nigeria’s Ajoke Ojomu emerged successful in her opening contest. She beat Luxembourg’s Sara Meyer on five games (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5); the win was no great surprise, except for Ajoke Ojomu.

“I cannot believe I just won my first game at the World Championships. I was a bit confused when the match started. I couldn’t understand how to return my opponent’s service as it was a bit odd playing against a player that used pimples in her forehand. After losing the first game, my coach told me how to respond; that really gave me the confidence to complete the win. It is a major boost to me personally and I dedicate this win to my mother, she has been very supportive; also to those who have always been there for me when I was not making the senior team.” Ajoke Ojomu

Successful debut for Hungarian teenager

Men’s Singles Qualification – Group 13

A first appearance at a World Championships, supported by the home crowd, Csaba Andras resisted a potential recovery by Jordan’s Zaid Abo Yaman (13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6) to make the best possible start in his quest to secure a main draw place.

“He played some quite unbelievable points in the fifth game; I felt I could win points playing wide to his forehand. Throughout the match I tried to stay calm and of course the support of the crowd helped.” Csaba Andras

A positive start for Csaba Andras (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Ghana prevails in contest of progressing African nations

Mixed Doubles Preliminary Round One

Ghana’s Derek Abrefa and Celia Baah-Danso accounted for Allan Arnachellum and Caroline Ramasawny of Mauritius (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11) in a contest between two African nations making notable progress.

“It was a good feeling coming to the biggest competition in the world. I was so excited when I learnt that we will be playing on table one. I just told my partner that we should go in there and give our best. We were familiar with our opponents but we knew it was a different platform and we had to make ourselves and country proud by winning the first match for Ghana in a World Championship in recent times. We are aware that we will be facing stronger opponents as we advance but we will continue to work harder and play harder.” Derek Abrefa.

“I am very much happy featuring in my first World Championships and specially playing on the centre court where the whole world would be watching me. I am also happy that we were able to win the first match; this is awesome and I can’t wait to play the next match. It was a different feeling for me playing on table one where all the cameras are focused on you. I hope the experience I gain will be helpful to me in all the competitions I will be playing this year.” Celia Baan-Danso

Celia Baah Danso (nearest camera) en route to an opening mixed doubles success (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Hungarians in tune

Mixed Doubles Preliminary Round One

Bence Majoros and Bernadett Balint were very much in tune; a four games win being the outcome against Luka Matkovic and Belena Busatlic from Bosnia-Herzegovina (11-4, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4).

“This is my first World Championships, it is a special feeling especially playing in your hometown in front of family and friends. I am satisfied with the atmosphere and I hope to get used to the venue. The first match is always very difficult and this is a high level tournament. I hope we will keep raising our game. We are also partnering together for the first time in any competition and we never knew our capability. I believe it will continue to rise as the tournament progresses. Bence Majoros

“It was a good feeling for me playing with my partner in the first match of a big competition; we don’t know how far we can go but we will try our best in the event.” Bernadett Balint

Imposing start for Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning

Mixed Doubles Preliminary Round One

Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning made a most imposing start in their quest for honours; they beat the United States combination of Nikhil Kumar and Lily Zhang in three straight games (11-5, 11-8, 11-3), The Americans asked questions in the second game standing level at 8-all but Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning secured the crucial points and never looked back.

“This was our first match here. For both pairs, more or less, we were getting used to the court and to be better prepared for the future matches. We had training together with the United States team on the first day but when we were in the match, we both were focused on ourselves and had our own tactical preparation. I think it’s pretty nice here. Overall, the light and the venue are good.” Ding Ning

Ding Ning (left) and (right) Fan Zhendong, totally focused (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

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2019 World Table Tennis Championships Budapest 2019
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Day 8 - 2019 World Table Tennis Championships

Match Highlights