Russian Success Raised the Eyebrows - Butterfly Table Tennis
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Alexey Liventsov (nearest camera) and Mikail Paykov (background) – Photo By: Rémy Gros

Russian Success Raised the Eyebrows

Expected Win but Russian Success Raised the Eyebrows
Courtesy of ITTF

Surprises were few and far between as play commenced in the Men’s Doubles event at the ITTF World Tour German Open in Berlin on the morning of Friday January 29th but there was one match in particular that raised the eyebrows.

Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov beat China’s Fang Bo and Yan An in three straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-9); the outcome was as status predicted; the no.8 seeds beat the no.15 seeds.

However, such is the prestige of China that in realistic terms the outcome, especially the winning margin, was a surprise.

Men’s Singles Disappointment
“We just tried to play every point well; I think because of the disappointment in the singles event we don’t really think about the result”, said Alexey Liventsov. “I think we played better than yesterday.”

In the preliminary stage of the Men’s Singles event, Alexey Liventsov had suffered a second round defeat, being beaten by Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun; one round later Mikhail Paikov had lost to Japan’s Kaii Yoshida.

First Match
“It was our first match in this tournament and we did not find our rhythm” explained Yan An. “We made too many small mistakes; the Russians played really well.”

Mixed Fortunes for Germany
A fine performance from Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov; it was the same from the host nation’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther; the no.7 seeds, they accounted for Japan’s Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.14 seeds (9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4).

Success for one German partnership but for two more it was farewell.

Timo Boll and Steffen Mengel, the no.16 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the top seeds (11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 11-7); at the same time Patrick Franziska and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.12 seeds, lost to Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan and Huang Sheng-Sheng, the no.6 seeds (4-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6).

Problems to Resolve
“There are still some small problems for me; we haven’t played doubles together for some time; that’s why I felt a bit uncomfortable at the very beginning.” said Timo Boll. “I must say it is not easy to recover from zero to one hundred so fast.”

Notably Timo Boll is recovering from knee surgery.

Top Pair
“The draw was a bit unfortunate; the Japanese opponents are one of the world top doubles”, said Jörg Rosskopf, the German Men’s Team National Coach. “They were at the last World Championships close to a major success; in my opinion, they are the strongest doubles for the German Open.”

At the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima held three match points in the deciding seventh game of their quarterfinal duel against China’s Xu Xin and Zhang Jike.

Patrick Franziska
A realistic approach from Jörg Rosskopf; it was very much the same from Patrick Franziska.

“It was actually not so bad and we worked very well together”, said Patrick Franziska. “We are not training together so much as our opponents; they have more frequent training so they can anticipate the direction of the returns.”

Second Seeds Prevail
Success for Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima; there was also opening round Men’s Doubles success for Korea’s Jung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds, they accounted for Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and João Geraldo, the no.9 seeds (11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4).

Likewise, there was success for Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Tang Peng, the no.4 seeds; they overcame the Belgium partnership of Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck, the no.11 seeds, in a closely contested full distance five games duel decided by the very narrowest of margins (11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 12-14, 12-10).

Swedes Withdraw
Progress as anticipated; in fact only one paring predicted to reach the quarterfinals who did not succeed in their quest was that of Kristian Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson, the no.3 seeds.

They withdrew from the competition; thus giving the formation of Croatia’s Tan Ruiwu and Wang Zengyi a walkover.


  • Men’s Singles: Main Draw
  • Women’s Singles: Main Draw
  • Men’s Doubles
  • Women’s Doubles
  • U-21 Men’s Singles
  • U-21 Women’s Singles

Visit ITTF German Open tournament page for more information.

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