01 Sep 2016

Qualification for the Under 21 Men's Singles event has come to a close, and we now know which players will compete in the main draw.

by Simon Daish

Matsuyama King of Group 14

All eyes were on group 14 heading into day two of the Czech Open, as the only group of four players still had everything to play for.

Following yesterday’s action, Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon (Thailand) and Yuki Matsuyama (Japan) led the group and the two competitors met on day two in a tie that would surely decide who finished top.

However, despite the build up to the match the drama failed to deliver as Matsuyama cruised to a 3-0 win (11-8, 11-5, 11-5). The Japanese player’s second victory of the day came against India’s Ravindra Kotiyan, and again another straight games win surfaced.

Poland’s Adam Dosz probably can’t believe how unlucky he is, after finishing the group bottom with three 3-2 defeats. Wisutmaythangkoon was sitting 0-2 ahead against the Polish player on day two, but Dosz had managed to claw his way back into the match by claiming back-to-back games.

The momentum was with Dosz but he couldn’t find his way over the line as Wisutmaythangkoon stole game five to book his place in the main draw (15-13, 11-6, 17-19, 8-11, 11-6).

Down to the Wire

Group 7 was decided on games difference in the end as all three players ended the group with a win and a defeat each.

Slawomir Dosz (Poland) beat Alexander Valuch (Slovakia) in five ends on the opening day, but Valuch put his name back into the ring with a 3-1 victory against Martin Khatchanov of the Netherlands.

Khatchanov was bottom of the group moving into the last match, but he was to come out on top, beating Dosz 3-0 and ensuring all three competitors ended the group on three points.

So the player who won the opening tie (Dosz) finished third in the group, Valuch took second and Khatchanov progressed in first place.

Three Romanians Through, but Two Fall

Romania endured a bitter sweet start to the day; despite both Cristian Pletea and Alin Spelbus finishing top of their groups and Alexandru Manole also going through, two players from the country made early exits.

Pletea followed up his 3-0 win over Adam Brat (Slovakia) by overcoming Stanislav Kucera (Czech Republic) in four games to top the group; while the Romanian player is happy with his efforts he has greater aspirations in mind:

“It is good that I am in the main draw but that´s not my main goal. The aim is to get between the eight best players for the tournament, which means at least to the quater-finals. I feel well on the court, I was successful in Bulgaria last week. If I should point out the match against Czech (Kucera) who plays defensively was a harder one but I felt I must win that” – Cristian Pletea (Romania).

Alin Spelbus, the other Romanian to win, saw off both David Serdaroglu (Austria) and Zeyad Aldmaisy (Jordan) 3-2 and 3-0 respectively to secure his place in the main event’s Round of 64. There’s also room in the next round for Alexandru Manole (Romania), despite finishing third in group 8.

For Cristian Chirita and Rares Sipos on the other hand, the battle for qualification has ended without reward.

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