The 48th edition of the Malta National Championships have in the first 3 days, showcased a number
of exciting matches.
Competition started last Wednesday, with the first rounds of Men’s and Women’s Doubles kicking
off at Cottonera Sports Complex. These same events came to the semifinal stage on Sunday, at
Kirkop Sports Complex, where reigning champions Samuel Cali and Stefan Salomone were defeated
in 2 straight sets by upcoming young talents Samuel Cassar and Mark Abela, 21-18, 21-11. They will
be facing Nigel Degaetano and Stephen Ferrante, title holders in 2016. The latter comfortably beat
youngsters Luigi Grech and Isaac Ellul in a very solid performance 21-10, 21-10.
In the women’s doubles event, title holders Fiorella M Sadowski and Yanika Polidano and Tiziana
Mifsud partnered with Michaela Ellul, had no trouble in making it through to finals, beating
Annmarie Bezzina and Melanie Grech 21-7; 21-8 and Eleanor Abela and Francesca Clark 21-13: 21-10
respectively. Both couples showed solid performances, deserving a place in the final.
The Mixed Doubles event was also a very exciting one. First rounds and quarter finals were played
on Saturday, where reigning champions Fiorella M Sadowski and Stephen Ferrante, made it through
to the semi finals after beating Stefan Salomone and Tiziana Mifsud in a thrilling 3-setter. They were
to face Samuel Cassar and Francesca Clark on the morrow in the semifinal, since they beat Isaac Ellul
and Sarah Azzopardi in a convincing 2 sets. On the other side of the draw Mark Abela and Annmarie
Bezzina, had the better of the strong pair made up of Samuel Cali and Jacqueline Abela Degiovanni, in what was to be another exciting 3-setter. They were to now face Nigel Degaetano and Yanika Polidano, who sailed comfortably after beating Wayne Haber and Melanie Grech.
Sunday offered nothing but the best of what the Mixed Doubles event could possibly offer. Samuel Cassar, who is
partnered by Francesca Clark, who is only 14 years old, faced reigning champions in what was to be a tough
encounter. Both couples showcased some top-notch badminton in 3 games of which Cassar and Clark
had the better in a 70-minute long game. The other semi-final also started off in the most exciting
way, seeing both couples rally for every point, never giving the edge to their opponents, Nigel
Degaetano and Yanika Polidano managed to grasp those extra 2 points over Mark Abela and Annmarie Bezzina. to take home the first game 25-23. In the second set Degaetano and Polidano had the edge over their opponents and won 21-14.
The competition resumes this Wednesday, 1 st May 2019, at Kirkop Sports Complex, where players
will battle each other out in the Men’s and Women’s Singles event, semi finals of which will be
played on Saturday 4 th May 2019 at the same complex.
The finals of all 3 doubles events will be played on Wednesday, 8 th May 2019, at Cottonera Sports
Complex. Results and schedule of remaining matches can be following through the below link.