26 Jan 2020

One place remained to be decided in each of the men's and women's events at the 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament in Gondomar.

On Saturday 25th January, the second stage quarter and semi-finals of the women's event were played, the quarter-finals of the men's competition enacted.

France exceeds expectations

Against the odds, France, the no.18 seeds, beat Portugal, the no.13 seeds, to book their place in the final against Korea Republic.

Mainstay of the victory was Yuan Ji Nan. After Marie Migot and Stéphanie Loueillette had beaten Fu Yu and Luo Xue (11-9, 11-8, 13-11), Yuan Ji Nan capitalised. She overcame Shao Jieni (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7), before later in the contest prevailing against Luo Xue (11-3, 11-6, 11-9) to secure the victory. The one win for Portugal was claimed in the third match of the engagement when Fu Yu accounted for Stéphanie Loueillette (11-3, 11-6, 11-6).

Korea Republic imperious

The no.4 seeds, the Korea Republic recorded a 3-0 win against Spain, the no.14 seeds, to book their place in the women’s team final.

Shin Yubin and Choi Hyojoo beat Ana Garcia and Galia Dvorak (11-3, 11-6, 11-8) to give Korea Republic the early advantage. Suh Hyowon followed suit by inflicting the only defeat in the whole tournament on Maria Xiao (11-9, 11-8, 11-3), before Choi Hyojoo overcame Galia Dvorak to end matters (11-5, 11-3, 11-3).

Another heartbreak for India, Hong Kong China through

Team Czech Republic had Tomas Polansky’s spirit and patience to thank, as he guided them to a 3-1 overall win over Team India, while facing Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. Beating the Indian 3-1 (14-16, 12-10, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9) Polansky came back twice against the run of play and secured the semi-final berth for his country.

At the same time, Team Hong Kong China also found the final jigsaw puzzle as they beat Team Poland with a 3-1 overall score. Ho Kwan Kit had to dig deep in his win over Jakub Dyjas, which lasted the marathon five games (12-10, 11-9, 13-15, 11-13, 11-5).

Ho Kwan Kit beat Jakub Dyjas to secure victory for Hong Kong China (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Great Britain suffers exit, Hong Kong China lead

It was a stunning show of talent from Nandor Ecseki, as he beat Liam Pitchford 3-1 (11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8) handing Team Hungary a deserved 3-1 win over Team Great Britain and also a semi-final spot.

Team Hong Kong China at table 4 are in command, as Wong Chun Ting won against Poland’s Marek Badowski (11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-7) to give the Asian side the lead 2-1.

Hungary retake lead, India half deficit

Adam Szudi has brought the lead back to Team Hungary as he defeated Britain’s Paul Drinkhall in four games, with the overall score now 2-1 to Hungary.

India’s veteran Sharath Kamal Achanta has suddenly offered hope to his side, after his splendid win over Lubomir Jancarik (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8), bringing the score 1-2 to the Czech Republic.

Can India find a way back? (Photo by Remy Gros)
India in trouble as Czech double

Team India have now a mammoth task ahead of them if are to make the semi-finals. Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek has seen off Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in straight games to give the Europeans a 2-0 lead.

In the meantime, Team Slovakia have secured their semi-final berth after Lubomir Pistej beat Robin Devos in a stunning 3-2 (12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 10-12, 11-3) win, giving Slovakia a 3-0 overall victory over Belgium.

Slovakia at the double, Britain level

Wang Yang has beaten Cedric Nuytink in straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-4) and given Team Slovakia a measure of control of their tie, as they lead the Belgian team by 2-0.

Liam Pitchford has followed Wang’s example, beating Hungary’s Bence Majoros in three games (13-11, 11-6, 11-9) and levelling the scores for Great Britain. Meanwhile, Poland’s hero Jakub Dyjas has also levelled the tie against Hong Kong China, as he saw off Lam Siu Hang (11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7).

Team Great Britain are still in it (Photo by Remy Gros)
Hungary lead the British

Team Hungary have started very well, after Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi beat the Great Britain pairing of Paul Drinkhall and Samuel Walker (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7) .

India’s men’s side has not had the best of past few days and the opening battle loss of Hameet Desai and Sharath Kamal Achanta to Team Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky and Lubomir Jancarik will do their confidence no favors (12-14, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).

Hong Kong China land strongly on their feet

Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit are on a redemption mission, as the pair have started strongly to win their first battle against Team Poland’s Marek Badowksi and Samuel Kulczycki in straight games (11-5, 11-9, 11-5).

In the other men’s team’ battle, Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Alexander Valuch have seen off Belgian’s Robin Devos and Florent Lambiet in four games (11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 12-10).

Starting strongly, Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit (Photo by Remy Gros)
Ready for the semi-finals?

Here’s the reaction after a series of comebacks!

Portugal complete the comeback!

Team Portugal have shocked Team Netherlands and it is no doubt to the pleasure of the home fans as they cheered Yu Fu to win in straight games against Kim Vermaas (11-2, 11-8, 11-9), giving the host nation a 3-2 overall win and a place in the final four!

France and Korea Republic follow

Despite the best efforts by Team India’s Ayhika Mukherjee, it was not to be as they were eliminated by France’s Marie Migot, who fought very hard for a 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9) win, giving her team an overall victory by the same score.

Similarly for Team Ukraine, Tetyana Bilenko could not hold off the challenge of Korea Republic’s Lee Eunhye, who won in four games to hand the Asian side an overall 3-1 win and a semi-final spot.

Korea Republic needed to dig deep against Ukraine! (Photo by Remy Gros)
Decider for Portugal-Netherlands, Spain make semis

The home crowd has just gone wild as Shao Jieni saw off Britt Eerland’s efforts to secure the win, coming back from a game down to level up the overall score to Portugal 2-2 Netherlands. It comes down to the battle between Yu Fu and Kim Vermaas now.

“The key is to not give up, because I lost the 3rd and 4th set really easy. After I just focus on the first balls, service and receive. I received better in the 3rd, so yes the receive saved me. I think this second draw is a lot more difficult than the first one, and the first one was already difficult.” Maria Xiao

Over at table 2, Team Spain have secured their passage into the semi finals, after Maria Xiao needed five games to win 3-2 (11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 5-11, 11-8) against Daria Trigolos to register an overall 3-2 win over Team Ukraine.

Korea Republic almost there, India head to a decider

Team Ukraine are now up against it, as Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo has raised the level of play here in Gondomar, after she accounted for Ganna Gaponova in a marvellous 3-0 win (11-7, 11-4, 11-7), meaning the Asian side lead by 2-1.

Over at table 4, Team India have forced Team France into a decider – Manika Batra rising to the occasion and beating Stephanie Loeuillete in clinical fashion (11-7, 12-10, 11-4). Can her teammate Ayhika Mukherjee send India to the semis by seeing off Marie Migot?

Has Manika turned the tide for India? (Photo by Remy Gros)
Netherlands back in control

Team Netherlands have again taken the lead against hosts Portugal, as Li Jiao beat Luo Xue in a fiercely fought 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8) win, bringing the score to 2-1 in the favor of the Dutch.

Also, Team Belarus have found a way to take Team Spain to a decider – Nadezhda Bodganova beating Sofia Xuan Zhang in straight games!

India and Belarus in trouble

Team France and Team Spain have both built on their comebacks and now lead their opponents, Team India and Team Belarus, by 2-1 overall.

Yuan Jia Nan for France saw off Surtirtha Mukherjee in straight games, and Galia Dvorak beat Katsiaryna Baravok in a similarly swift fashion (11-9, 11-9, 11-4).

Yuan Jia Nan in the mood (Photo by Remy Gros)
France level up, so do Ukraine

India’s Manika Batra is having a rough couple of days as she lost out to Marie Migot pretty much the same way she lost to Daniel Monteiro yesterday. In a pendulum battle with one-game each, the French Migot had a lot more going for her which allowed her a swift 3-2 (11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7) win over the Indian, making the overall score 1-1.

Team Ukraine have also followed in that stead, levelling up against Korea Republic, thanks to Margaryta Pesotska winning 3-1 versus Lee Eunhye.

Spain and Portugal claw back

The home support has brought the fight back into the match between Team Portugal and Team Netherlands, as Yu Fu beat Britt Eerland after starting a game down (2-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4).

Similarly, Maria Xiao has rallied her troops as Spain levelled the scores against Belarus, when she saw off Nadezhda Bodganova in a splendid show of forceful of forehands (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).

Spain moving back into the game (Photo by Remy Gros)
India begin with a battle

Team India are off to a rocky, yet positive start against Team France, as the women’s quarter-final on table 4 needed a five game kick-off. Ayhika Mukherjee and Surtirtha Mukherjee came from 1-2 down to win their first battle 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8) against Stephanie Loeuillete and Yuan Jia Nan.

Meanwhile, Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin and Choi Hyojoo also needed five games to see off Team Ukraine’s Bilenko Tetyana and Ganna Gaponova (11-7, 8-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8).

Netherlands start strong, so do Belarus

Good morning from Gondomar, Portugal where the home fans are not in good spirits – Team Netherlands have taken an early lead against home favorites, Team Portugal after Kim Vermaas and Li Jiao beat Jieni Shao and Luo Xue in the women’s team event (11-9, 11-9, 14-12).

In the other quarter-final, Team Spain have fallen behind to Team Belarus, where Daria Trigolos and Katsiaryna Baravok saw off the challenge of Galia Dvorak and Sofia-Xuan Zhang 3-1 (5-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Daria Trigolos and Katsiaryna Baravok for Team Belarus (Photo by Remy Gros)
The draw

Women’s Team
10.00 Belarus v Spain, Ukraine v Korea Republic, Netherlands v Portugal, India v France

19.00 Belarus or Spain v Ukraine or Korea Republic,  Netherlands or Portugal v India or France

Men’s Team
16.00 Czech Republic v India, Great Britain v Hungary, Slovakia v Belgium, Hong Kong China v Poland

Keep up with the score!
2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Event Portugal Netherlands

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Day 5 - 2020 ITTF World Team Qualification Tournament

Match Highlights