World champions combine, upset seeding
Two world champions combined; such a pedigree suggests that a victory would be an expected result.
However, in the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha, on the late morning of Thursday 23rd February, two players who had stood on the top step of the podium at a World Championships caused an upset.
Chiang Hung-Chieh, who had partnered Huang Sheng-Sheng to Boys’ Doubles gold at the 2005 World Junior Championships in the Austrian city of Linz, joined forces with Chinese Taipei colleague Chen Chien-An, the player who had partnered Chiang Chih-Yuan to success at the Liebherr 2013 World Championships in Paris.
Not seeded, the duo recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Japan’s Koki Niwa and Maharu Yoshimura, the no.6 seeds (12-14, 10-12, 11-3, 11-8, 11-8).
“We played together when we were children; Chiang Hung-Chieh is very good when playing close to the table, he plays with good speed and that enables me to play a step back from the table; that suits me”, Chien Chen-An
“Both of us come from the same city, we both come from Hsinchu; partnering Huang Sheng-Sheng, he is very good when playing short. Chen Chien-An is different, he is very good when the ball is long”, Chiang Hung-Chieh.
Success for Chiang Hung-Chieh and Chien Chen-An contrary to seeding; as play progressed in the top half of the Men’s Doubles draw, there was one further upset.
Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi and Lam Siu Hang combined to beat Korea’s Jang Woojin and Jeoung Youngsik, the no.4 seeds (11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9).
Two upsets in the one remaining contest in the upper half of the draw, it was success as predicted. Belgium’s Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck, the no.7 seeds, ended the aspirations of Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Sun Chia-Hung (12-14, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Top seeds, Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima received an opening round walk-over; their intended opponents, Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso and Niagol Stoyanov had to withdraw through injury.