Kilian Ort beaten by Filip Zeljko
Photo By: Courtesy of Slovak TTA
2012 Slovak Junior Open - ITTF Junior Circuit
A surprise defeat at that start of the day, a surprise win at the end of the day; for Croatia’s 15 year old Filip Zeljko, it was a case of all’s well that ends well on the penultimate day of action, Saturday 19th May 2012, at the Slovak Junior Open in Senec.
He was the one player to cause a surprise of note, as matters commenced in the main draw of the Boys’ Singles event, a competition in which he faced the brink of elimination.
Eventually after a day of trials and tribulations, he booked his place in the third round of proceedings by beating Germany’s Kilian Ort, the no.6 seed.
It was a contest in which he lost the first two games before winning the next four to secure victory.
Filip Zejko won 6-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5.
Success but when matters started, a place in the main draw, let alone a place in the third round looked a forlorn hope.
Listed at no.115 on the Under 18 Boys’ World rankings, Filip Zeljko was beaten in his opening contest in the group stage of proceedings by Italy’s Maurizio Massarelli, ranked no.192 in five games (11-5, 12-14, 9-11, 11-2, 11-8).
A surprise defeat to start proceedings; however, he recovered to beat Slovenia’s Patrik Sukic, ranked no.467 by a similar margin to the reverse he had suffered (11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5).
He concluded his first phase matches in style by overcoming the host nation’s Balint Biro, a player with no World ranking (11-3, 11-8, 11-4).
Moved to Higher Gear
Likewise, both Maurizio Massarelli and Patrick Sukic beat the luckless Balint Biro but in the concluding match in the group, Patrick Sukic, facing elimination, moved into a higher gear.
He accounted for Maurizio Massarelli in three straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-4).
Therefore games ratio was the determining factor; Patrick Sukic finished in first place with Filip Zeljko second and Maurizio Massarelli, the player who had started the group in fine style third.
Patrick Sukic and Filip Zeljko thus progressed to the main draw, for Maurizio Massareli and Balint Biro it was the consolation event.
Maurizio Massarelli beat Filip Zelko but finished in third place in the group
Photo courtesy of Slovak TTA
A place in the main draw booked by a narrow margin, Filip Zeljko made the most of the opportunity afforded; he beat Austria’s Thomas Mullner in seven games (5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 13-11, 10-12, 11-13, 11-7) to reserve his place in the second round, where he beat Kilian Ort.
Defeat for the no.6 seed but for the other leading names in the early stages of the Boys’ Singles event it was success.
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.1 seed, duly progressed unscathed as did the next in the pecking order, Hong Kong’s Chiu Chung Hei, Italy’s Leonardo Mutti, Eric Jouti, also from Brazil and the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger.
Similarly, there was success for Hong Kong’s Hung Ka Tak, the no.8 seed and for Ondrej Bajger’s colleague, Michal Benes, the no.8 seed.
Junior Boys’ Doubles
Meanwhile, in the early stages of the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition, the leading pairs all enjoyed success.
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Eric Jouti, the no.1 seeds, duly booked their place in the third round as did Hong Kong’s Chiu Chung Hei and Hung Ka Tak, the no.2 seed.
Similarly, there was success for the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger and Michal Benes, the third seeded pairing as there was for Italy’s Leonardo Mutti and Alessandro Baciocchi, the fourth seeds.
A successful day for the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger
Photo courtesy of Slovak TTA