María Xiao and Álvaro Robles debut with victory in Durban

Spanish athletes have had an outstanding performance in the first round of the 2023 Table Tennis World Championship, which is being held in Durban, South Africa, from May 20 to 28. In mixed doubles, the Spanish combination formed by Álvaro Robles and María Xiao demonstrated their superiority by beating the Argentine pair of Gastón Alto and Ana Codina with a resounding 3-0. Now, Robles and Xiao await rivals for the second round, which will come from the matchup between Burgos/Vega from Chile and Dixon/Tapper from Australia.

As for the men’s singles, Álvaro Robles debuted strongly, achieving a resounding 4-0 over Australian Kelsey Amor. He will meet Nigerian Quadri Aruna in the next round. The Spanish female representation had a bittersweet first day. On the one hand, Sofia-Xuan Zhang fought hard in a very close match against the Slovakian Barbora Balazova, but ended up losing 4-3. On the other hand, María Xiao started with a convincing 4-0 victory against the Turkish Sibel Altinkaya. Xiao will now meet fourth-seeded Yidi Wang of China in the second round.

In men’s doubles, Robles and Ionescu went through the round without having to play, due to the absence of the Barbados paddlers, Ramon Maxwell and Tyrese Knight. Finally, in the women’s doubles, María Xiao and the Romanian Adina Diaconu have shown great synergy and effectiveness in their match against the French couple Lutz and Zarif, achieving a favorable result of 3-0. Overcoming the first set 12-10, they set their pace in the second game 11-2 and won the last one 11-9. They will face the Chinese duo Yidi/Chen in the second round.

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