A quarter-final success against one Asian pairing but a semi-final defeat against a second partnership from that continent; such was the story for Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn in the Men’s Doubles event at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals in London’s ExCel Arena.
On the morning of Saturday 26th November 2011, the duo suffered a straight games defeat at the hands of the Chinese duo comprising Ma Lin and Zhang Jike. The Chinese duo seized control from the very start to record a four straight games victory.
Ma Lin and Zhang Jike won 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4.
Previous Round One round earlier it had been a different story for the Austrians, they had beaten the Chinese Taipei duo of Chuang Chih-Yuan and Wu Chih-Chi in four straight games (14-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7).
“There wasn’t a great deal of difference between us and Chuang Chih-Yuan and Wu Chih-Chi”, explained Robert Gardos. “Today against the Chinese you need that bit of luck to give yourself a chance; we had no luck at all today.”
More than Satisfactory Nevertheless, a semi-final finish in such a prestigious tournament was a fine finish for the Austrians, with Robert Gardos the more experienced of the duo at international level.
Successful with Chen Weixing Prior to forming the partnership with Daniel Habesohn, he had enjoyed ITTF Pro Tour success with Chen Weixing; notably in 2006 they won the Men’s Doubles title at the Chile Open in Santiago.
“Chen Weixing has been injured recently”, added Robert Gardos. “So we decided that I should partner Daniel.”
Close Bond Successful with Chen Weixing and now with Daniel Habesohn, with whom a close bond has been formed.
“We have been playing doubles together for two years”, explained Daniel Habesohn. “Robert is a very good singles player and we are good friends, so that really helps make us a good team.”
Spirited Singaporeans A good team but it was success for Ma Lin and Zhang Jike, it was success for China, as it was in the counterpart semi-final.
Ma Long and Wang Hao withstood a brave effort by the Singaporean duo of Yang Zi and Zhan Jian to emerge victorious in six games.
Result Seeded no.2, Ma Long and Wang Hao won 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 14-12, 12-10.