by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Aleksandar Karakasevic, the fifth highest player on qualification stage duty, gained a total reprieve and booked his place in the main draw; for Tristan Flore, it was only a partial reprieve, his future lies in the hands of the fortune teller.
Players finishing in first place in each of the 23 groups, in the first phase of the Men’s Singles event, advance to the main draw; thanks to Ewout Oostwouder of the Netherlands, Aleksandar Karakasevic secured top spot.
On the first day of action, Aleksandar Karakasevic had beaten Ewout Oostwouder in four straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-1) but had then experienced a five games reverse when confronting the host nation’s Bence Majoros (11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Defeat for Ewout Oostwouder but on the second day of action in the concluding group phase duel, he turned the tables; he overcame Bence Majoros in six games (12-10, 8-11, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7).
Thus games ratio decided the final order; it was first place for Aleksandar Karakasevic (5:4), followed by Bence Majoros (6:5) and Ewout Oostwouder (4:6).
Alas for Ewout Oostwouder, it was the end of the road but the hopes of Bence Majoros remain alive; from the 23 groups, 18 players will be drawn at random to compete in a preliminary round, the winners will progress to the main draw.
The future for Bence Majoros depends on the wheel of fortune; it is the same for Tristan Flore, the highest rated player on duty in the initial phase of the Men’s Singles event.
Defeated on the opening day of action by Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus, he recovered to beat Poland’s Patryk Zatowka (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7) in his concluding group stage duel.
However, it was not sufficient for the Frenchman to secure top spot; Aliaksandr Khanin maintained his unbeaten record; he overcame San Marino’s Maro Vannuci (11-4, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7), before like Tristan Flore, defeating Patryk Zatowka (11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-5).
Success for Aliaksandr Khanin and it was success very much against the odds. Presently on the Men’s World Rankings, he is listed at no.266, Patryk Zatowka is at no.257, Tristan Floreat no.68.
An unexpected second place for Tristan Flore; for the other leading players it was the initial phase completed without blemish and top spot in the group.
Germany’s Steffen Mengel and Benedikt Duda clinched first places their groups as did the host nation’s Adam Pattantyus and Russia’s Mikhail Paikov.
Likewise, the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik and Frenchman, Benjamin Brossier topped their respective groups.