(Photo: Marco Kunz)
Alimov/ Davletova score big win in their campaign towards Tokyo
Date: 3/2/2021 7:25 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The YONEX Swiss Open 2021 began today with the mixed doubles, and the first one on court was a showstopper. 

The tournament naturally has been earmarked as an important comeback tournament on the 2021 calendar as it is the first tournament to count towards Olympic qualification points since this time last year. 

First up on court one was a rematch between Dutch pair Robin Tabeling/ Selena Piek against the Russians Rodion Alimov/ Alina Daletova who played at the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships in the group stages just two weeks ago. 

In that match, the Russians took the win which capped off a disappointing championships for the Netherlands with a 4-1 overall loss. This left Tabeling/ Piek frustrated with their own performance, despite already knowing their teams’ fate in the competition. 

Two of Europe’s top pairs were able to take each other on once more and it did not disappoint. 

Tabeling/ Piek lead most of the way in the first game and had a game point at 20-19. However, Alimov/ Davletova were able to put together three vital points to take the opening game. Their mental strength at these key moments in matches is becoming a great asset for them. 

However, roles were reversed in the second game, with the Russians scuppering a match point at 20-19 and were eventually forced into a decider with Tabeling/ Piek digging out a 23-21 game. 

-Today they played a very strong match. In the second game, we had chances to finish on the match points, but we could not convert, which is bad. 

The big smashing Alimov was happy that they could deliver in the third game, finishing the match at 22-20, 21-23, 21-16, and he still had plenty of energy despite all those power smashes! 

-No, it’s okay, I am not tired. 

An important win towards Olympics
The young Russian duo, who grew up together, are currently 22 in the world and outside the Olympic qualification spots. However, a win over a top European pair who are firmly in at 14 in the world, really gives them belief that they can do it. 

-We are happy to continue with the Tokyo Olympics qualification and we a really happy to win today, Alimov said not hiding his delight at the win. 

When asked if he can get to the Olympics with Davletova, Alimov smirked and gave a simple reply. 

-We try! 

For all of the result and fixtures, click here

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