Eighteen year old LoÔc BOBILLER of France lost the closest match played so far in the Brazilian Open in Rio de Janeiro this week when, in the first round of the Menís Singles, he lost 14-16 in the seventh game to Koreaís CHOI Hyun Ju; however, one day later success has come his way, he has reached the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Menís Singles.
Loïc BOBILLER en route to the semi-finals of the Under 21 Men's Singles
BOBILLER, playing in the Brazilian Open for the first time in his career, overcame the host nationís duo of Bruno ANJOS and Gustavo TSUBOI in the opening two rounds of the main draw to book his semi-final place against Faazil KASSAM of Canada, the latter having beaten Koreaís YOON Jae Young and Franceís Christophe BERTIN.
`He is a good player, Iíve played him before and lostí, said a delighted BOBILLER after beating TSUBOI. Undoubtedly, BOBILLER has benefited from playing in the hotbed of European table tennis; the standard of play in Brazil is most certainly improving but South America cannot match the strength in depth that is available in Europe. The French boy acknowledged that in Hugo HOYAMA, Thiago MONTEIRO, Gustavo TSUBOI and Cazuo MATSUMOTO, Brazil had a group of fine male players and most certainly they are very worthy opponents.
BOBILLER is a determined young man who has to balance studying with table tennis training, he clearly wants to do well and with the leading French players now approaching the twilight years of their careers opportunities for BOBILLER may well arise. `I want to play in the Olympic Games and gain a top ten World Ranking, a tough objective but with effort and determination who knows what he may achieve.
Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw in the Under 21 Menís Singles, another Frenchman was in fine form, Dany LO. He beat Hungaryís DŠniel ZWICKL in the quarters and will now play Brazilís Cazuo MATSUMOTO, the latter beating Canadaís Bence CSABA to reach the penultimate stage.