28 Aug 2016

First round exits his best to date on this year’s ITTF World Tour, Russia’s Mikhail Paikov laid aside the gremlins of previous appearances, to cause the biggest upset at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte.

The no.7 seed, on the evening of Saturday 27th August, he beat Frenchman, Adrien Mattenet in six games to reserve his place in the penultimate round (11-9, 11-2, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 14-12).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Furthermore, not only did he lay the disappointment of the year to rest, his best being a first round exit in Hungary and later in the year the same in Kuwait; in addition he beat a player who has very much been his nemesis.

On the international scene he had met Adrien Mattenet on two previous occasions; in the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the 2005 Polish Junior and Cadet Open, later in 2011 on the ITTF World Tour in Dubai.

Both meetings had witnessed success for the Frenchman.

Indian adventures over

Success against anticipation for Mikhail Paikov; in the remaining three encounters, the verdicts emerged as status advised with Indian adventures coming to a close.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.18 seed, was beaten by Quentin Robinot, the no.8 seed and like Adrien Mattenet from France (11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8); Amalraj Anthony, the no.19 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s 16 year old Yuto Kizukuri, the no.12 seed (15-13, 6-11, 11-9, 14-16, 11-6, 11-8).

Differing fortunes for France; that fact was also evident in the one remaining quarter-final encounter. Antoine Hachard, the no.6 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny, the no.3 seed (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9).

Penultimate round

At the semi-final stage, Mikhail Paikov meets Quentin Robinot, Tomas Koneny opposes Yuto Kizukuri.

Place in final

A place in the penultimate round of the Men’s Singles event for Mikail Paikov; in the Men’s Doubles competition, in partnership with colleague Alexey Liventsov, it is a place in the final.

The top seeds, on the fourth day of play, the duo ended Japanese hopes. They beat Yuko Kizukuri and Kenji Matsudaira at the quarter-final stage (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9), prior to recovering from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Mizuki Oikawa and Taku Takakiwa to reserve their place in the final (8-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8).

Liao Cheng-Ting and Sun Chia-Hung await

In the final they meet Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Sun Chia-Hung.

Not seeded, they overcame the French partnership of Thomas Le Breton and Adrien Mattenet in the quarter-finals (3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4), prior to accounting for India’s Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaren, the no.5 seed, in the semi-finals (10-12, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10).

Play concludes

The semi-finals and final of the Men’s Singles event, in addition to the Men’s Doubles final will be played on Sunday 28th August.

Adrien Mattenet Mikail Paikov