HU Melek and SHEN Yanfei clinched the Women’s Doubles titlePhoto: Elena ELISEEVA
Georgina POTA and Elizabeta SAMARA won silver
Only the second time they have appeared as a doubles partnership on the international scene, the combination of Turkey’s HU Melek and Spain’s SHEN Yanfei, the no.4 seeds, clinched the title at the 2015 LIEBHERR ITTF European Championships. In the final, HU and SHEN overcame the combination of Hungary’s Georgina POTA and Romania’s Elizabeta SAMARA, the no.5 seeds 4:1 (11:4, 11:7, 11:9, 13:11, 4:11).
“We are very happy with the result. There were only two moments when we felt under pressure. In fourth game we had a match balls after 10:6, but we lost that game. Immediately after, POTA and SAMARA were 3:1 in the lead. We did not panicked; we stayed focused,” explained SHEN.
SHEN Yanfei in partnership with GAO Jun of the United States, some ten years ago won four Women’s Doubles titles on the ITTF World Tour plus the Grand Finals in Fuzhou in 2005. HU admitted she learned a lot from more experienced partner.
“SHEN is like my older sister. I improve my game a lot playing with her. I wish we had more opportunity to play and training together. We just meet at the tournaments,” said HU.
On their way to the ultimate stage of the Doubles Event, in the semi final, new champions overcame the second seeds HAN Ying and Irene IVANCAN of Germany, whilst POTA and SAMARA beat no one other but bronze medalists from the World Championships held this year in China, LI Jie of Netherlands and LI Qian of Poland.