06 Oct 2016

Despite a huge turnout of host nation's Junior boys at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Serbia Junior and Cadet Open, they will have to face stiff challenge from Bahrain, Qatar, Czech and Portugal here at the city of Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia.

By Neha Aggarwal

Rashed Sanad heads Junior Boys’ Singles

Currently ranked number 95 at the Under-18 world ranking this month, Bahrain’s Sanad Rashed is the top seeded player in the Junior Boys’ singles at the ITTF Serbian Junior and Cadet Open starting 5th October 2016.

Sanad will be the player to watch out for as his recent success as the runners up at the SOPAL 2016 Tunisia Junior & Cadet Open held last month is phenomenal. In the finals, he lost to Tobias Hippler Tobias (Germany) by a narrow margin of  11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9. In the same tournament, he also reached the finals of the Junior Boys’ doubles pairing up with Jordan’s Khaled Khader.

Interestingly, he was also present at the 2016 ITTF-Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament held at Hong Kong, as the representative from West Asia.

He will start his campaign at Serbia with Junior Boys’ singles qualification rounds at 9:00am local time. His competitors in group one are Matija Jovicic Matija (Serbia), Mohd Abdulaziz (Qatar) and Hristijan Jovanov (Maedonia)

Aleksa Gacev ,the top most seeded Serbian at the tournament, is ranked 173 in Under 18 Boys’ World listing for October and thus faces a tough task ahead. He is seeded number six in the Junior Boys’ Singles, behind Abdulwahab Mohd (Qatar), Jiri Martinko Jiri (Czech Republic) Patrik Klos (Czech Republic) and  Jose Pedro Francisco (PortugalDimitrije) seeded number two to five respectively.

On day one, Junior Boys singles’ qualification will commence with 12 groups of four players in each group.

Serbia heads Cadet Boys’ singles

Dimitrije Levajac ranked number 50 in the Under 15 World Ranking is the top seeded cadet boys’ player at Vrnjačka Banja. Surprisingly, he is the lone Serbian in the top 10 seeding and thus all the hopes and pressure will lay on the 15-year old. Levajac’s best outing this season was a last 16 finish at the 2016 Italian Junior & Cadet Open earlier this year. With all hopes from the host nation resting on his shoulder, he has a big challenge ahead in the next 5 days.

He starts his campaign with Cadet Boys’ qualification round on Saturday 8th October 2016. He will face Martin Petrov (Bulgaria) and fellow teammate Zvezdan Grujic the qualification rounds.

Serbia’s Dimitrije Levajac leads the host nation in Cadet Boys’ singles. Photo By: Tomas Sereda

30 players have been divided into eight groups and will commence the qualification rounds on Saturday 8th October in a round robin format.

Further Details:

World Junior Circuit Serbia Junior and Cadet Open