Golden premiere for Stefan FEGERL and Joao MONTEIROPhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
The combination of Austria’s and Portugal’s players never lost a match in career
The pairings who never lost a match in their career, Stefan FEGERL of Austria and Joao MONTEIRO of Portugal clinched the title in the Men’s Doubles Event at the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships. The no.11 seeds, never ever having being Men’s Doubles partners in any previous tournament of any nature, beat in the final the top seeds and pairings who already won silver and gold medals at the European Championships in 2012 and 2013, Robert GARDOS and Daniel HABESOHN of Austria 4:3 (11:9, 14:12, 6:11, 8:11, 13:15, 11:8, 12:10).
“It was great pleasure to play with Stefen. It was fantastic experience, “ said MONTEIRO.
The match with many twists and turns ended with the victory for newly formed doubles.
“After very good performance in two opening games, we lost the third very easy. It helped GARDOS and HABESOHN to recover and to win the next one,” explained FEGERL.
Joao added: ”In fifth game we lost by narrow margin 13:15, but we rose our game and we continued in same gear in sixth game, which proved crucial. In sixth game we saved match ball.”
Speaking about the moment when they both realise they are going to win, FEGERL said: “It happened after 10:10 in the seventh game. We looked each other and we knew. The win was in our hands.”
In the semi final GARDOS and HABESOHN overcame Alexander SHIBAEV and Kirill SKACHKOV of Russia, whilst FEGERL and MONTEIRO overcame Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON of Sweden.
This final will rewrites the history books. A place in the ultimate round for three Austrians; never previously has that exact situation occurred but there are three examples of Men’s Doubles finals at the European Championships involving players, who at the time, represented the same national association.
In 1962 in Berlin an all Yugoslav final saw Voislav MARKOVIC and Janez TERAN beat Isvan KORPA and Edvardo VECKO.
The two other occasions involve Swedes. In 1986 in Prague, Erik Lindh and Jan-Ove WALDNER beat Mikael APPELGREN and Ulf CARLSSON to secure the top prize.
More recently in 1992 in Stuttgart Erik LINDH was once again involved, he joined forces with Jörgen PERSSON to claim gold. They overcame Mikael APPELGREN and Jan-Ove WALDNER in the final.