25 Jun 2021

Rank outsiders at the start of play, Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham, the no.11 seeds, emerged the surprise winners of the mixed doubles title at the Liebherr 2020 ITTF European Championships.

The first event to be decided in Warsaw, on the evening of Friday 25th June they accounted by Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the top seeds, at the final hurdle (11-9, 11-8, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Thus, they became the third German pair to secure the title since the event was first staged in 1958 in Budapest. Wilfried Lieck and Wiebke Hendriksen won in 1978 in Duisburg when representing Federal Germany, more recently three years ago in Alicante, Ruwen Filus and Han Ying succeeded.

Earlier places in the final had been booked at French expense. Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova had beaten qualifiers Simon Gauzy and Prithika Pavade (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4); Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham had ousted Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan (14-12, 11-7, 4-11, 5-11, 13-11).

More disappointment for Simon Gauzy

Disappointment for Simon Gauzy, later in the day more followed. He was one of four notable names to experience a second round men’s singles exit; no.5 seed Gauzy was beaten by Czech Republic qualifier, Lubomir Jancarik (11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4).

Undoubtedly, the nation in form was Sweden with Anton Källberg, the no.21 seed and qualifier Truls Möregard excelling. Anton Källberg overcame Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.8 seed (7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8), while Truls Möregard defeated Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.19 seed (7-11, 12-10, 11-2, 14-16, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).

The one further second round men’s singles upset was caused by Romanian qualifier Hunor Szocs, who accounted for Austria’s Daniel Habesohn, the no.17 seed (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9)

Problems for notable names but not for the respective top four. Sweden’s Mattias Falck alongside Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska all enjoyed second round success.

Mattias Falck beat Turkey’s Abdullah Yigenler (11-5, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7), Dimitrij Ovtcharov ousted Croatia’s Andrej Gacina (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5). Likewise, Timo Boll prevailed against England’s Paul Drinkhall (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8), and Patrick Franziska ended the hopes of Moldova’s Vladislav Urdu (12-10, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3).

Defence prevails

Farewell to prominent names in the men’s singles second round, it was slightly less evident at the same stage of the women’s singles.

Romania’s Bernadette Szocs was the most prominent name to depart, the no.4 seed, she was beaten by the backspin skills of Sweden’s Linda Bergström, the no.22 seed (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 13-11).

Bernadette Szocs eliminated on day four (Photo: Bogdan Pasek)

Further down the order, Natalia Bajor, the no.25 seed, brought smiles to Polish faces by overcoming the Czech Republic’s Hana Matelova, the no.11 seed (11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10).

Otherwise, except for Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.5 seed who withdrew from her contest against Romania’s Daniela Monteiro Dodean, the no.30 seed, it was success for the most prominent names.

Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the top seed, alongside the next in line, Germany’s Petrissa Solja and Han Ying progressed.

Eventually, Sofia Polcanova overcame Adina Diaconu of Romania (11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4); Petrissa Solja beat England’s Tin-Tin Ho, the no.26 seed (11-5, 11-7, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7), Han Ying halted the ambitions of Stéphanie Loeuillette, the no.24 seed (15-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4).

French pair remains

Defeat for Stéphanie Loeuillette in the women’s singles but not in the women’s doubles. Partnering Yuan Jia Nan, a second round win was recorded against Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the no.9 seeds (11-5, 12-10, 11-5). Of the top four pairs, the no.3 seeded French pair are the only duo to reach the quarter-finals.

Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova, the top seeds, lost to Germany’s Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja, the no.16 seeds (11-4, 11-7, 11-4).

Defeat for the top seeds, for the partnerships that had caused major upsets the previous day it was mixed fortunes. Britt Eerland in harness with Hungary’s Georgina Pota, the no.19 seeds, the first round winners against Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka, the no.2 seeds (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9), overcame Sweden’s Filippa Bergand and Linda Bergström, the no.13 seeds (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7).

Rather differently, the French pairing of Pauline Chasselin and Prithika Pavade, the no.20 seeds and first round winners against Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku’s and Sabina Surjan, the no.4 seeds, experienced defeat when confronting Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko and Ganna Gapanova, the no.10 seeds (11-6, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8).

Top seeds progress

Problems in the second round for a highly seeded women’s doubles pairing; in the men’s doubles there were also problems for one notable combination. Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet, the no.4 seeds, suffered at the hands of Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Kirill Skachkov, the no.12 seeds (11-4, 11-6, 11-6)).

Conversely, Germany’s Benedikt Duda and Qiu Dang, the top seeds, accounted for Finland’s Benedek Olah and Alex Naumi, the no.13 seeds (11-9, 11-7, 11-6). Meanwhile, Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the no.3 seeds, prevailed against Portugal’s João Geraldo and Diogo Carvalho, the no.9 seeds (11-5, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10).

Qualifiers Darko Jorgic of Slovenia and Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the surprise winners the previous day against Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska, the no.2 seeds, continued their winning ways. They overcame Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Jon Persson, the no.16 seeds (9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7).

On Saturday 26th June, the penultimate day of play, in addition to the quarter and semi-finals of the men’s and women’s doubles, the third round and quarter-finals of both the men’s and women’s singles will be completed.

For more information regarding the Liebherr 2020 ITTF European Championships visit the official tournament website at

General News Nina Mittelham Anton Källberg Qiu Dang Linda Bergstrom Lubomir Jancarik Natalia Bajor

No results found.