26 Aug 2016

The leading names on duty at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open, all made promising starts as matters commenced in the Men’s Singles event on Friday 26th August.

Competing in the top half of the draw, Frenchman Adrien Mattenet, the top seed, enjoyed success as did Japan’s Kenji Matsudaira, the no.4 seed; not to be left out of proceedings Russia’s Mikhail Paikov, the no.7 seed and Quentin Robinot, like Adrien Mattenet from France and the no.8 seed, all booked second round places.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Undoubtedly, the most comfortable path was that enjoyed by Quentin Robinot, he received a walk-over against the host nation’s Vladimir Petkov and was not required to raise his racket in anger.

Impressive victory margins

Meanwhile, Adrien Mattenet accounted for the host nation’s Svetosar Stoyanov (11-5, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3); Kenji Matsudaira overcame Iran’s Miad Lotfijanabadi (11-9, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6), whilst not be overshadowed, Mikhail Paikov defeated India’s Ravindra Kotiyan (11-6, 11-3, 11-1, 11-8).

Notably it was success for two past winners of the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the European Youth Championships; Mikhail Paikov won in Bratislava in 2007, Quentin Robinot succeeded in Prague two years later.

Cristian Pletea finds form

Furthermore, there was success for one player who has no doubt aims to win the coveted European title. Romania’s Cristian Pletea, who won the Cadet Boys’ Singles title at the 2015 European Youth Championships in Bratislava, not only caused an upset of note but severely dented the aspirations of the host nation.

The 16 year old beat Stanislav Golovanov, the no.29 seed and in recent years the leading player in Bulgaria. Impressively the Romanian teenager succeeded in five games against his 27 years of age (11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3).

Further upsets

One upset in the top half of the draw in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event and there were two more.

Sweden’s Viktor Brodd, the no.24 seed, was beaten by Denmark’s Anders Lind (7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4); Russia’s Konstantin Chernov, the no.27 seed who enjoyed success on the 2015 ITTF Junior Circuit when he won in Italy, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chun-Yu (11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 14-12, 11-6).

World Tour Bulgaria Open Quentin Robinot Kenji Matsudaira Mikhail Paikov Adrien Mattenet