20 Oct 2016

The creator of history earlier in the year when he succeeded in the Bulgarian city of Panagyurishte and became the first ever player from the Czech Republic to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title; on the third day of play, Thursday 20th October, at the Liebherr 2016 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, once again Tomas Konecny hit the headlines.

However, on this occasion, they were headlines that he would no doubt rather forget.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor.

He was one of the major casualties as play commenced in the Men’s Singles competition; the no.30 seed, he was beaten in seven games by Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (9-11, 17-19, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5).

It was from the 18 year old a quite remarkable achievement. He commenced proceedings two days earlier in the qualification stage as the third highest ranked player in his group behind Frenchman Tristan Flore and Poland’s Patryk Zatowka. He concluded matters unbeaten and thus in top spot.

Success for one aspiring teenager, there was success for another; winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2015 European Youth Championships, Sweden’s Anton Källberg overcame Romania’s Adrian Crisan, the no.24 seed (12-10, 11-7, 2-11, 11-13, 11-5, 12-10).

Two upsets as matters progressed in the opening round of the top half of the Men’s Singles draw, there was one more. Germany’s Benedek Duda ended aspirations of Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, the no.27 seed (11-5, 11-4, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8).

Surprises but there were no such upsets where the leading names, involved in the top half of the draw, were concerned.

Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed and defending champion, overcame Spain’s Marc Duran (11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 13-11); likewise, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.3 seed, defeated Hungary’s Adam Szudi (11-5, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8), whilst Austria’s Stefan Fegerl, the no.7 seed, accounted for Russia’s Sadi Ismailov.

“I enjoyed my game here in Budapest. I had a hard period before and during the Olympic Games, so I needed a little break. Now I am back and I am highly motivated and ready for the challenge,” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Meanwhile, not to be left out and overshadowed, Croatia’s Andrej Gacina, the no.8 seed, ended the aspirations of Italy’s Mihai Bobocica (11-3, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5).

The second round of the Men’s Singles event will be held on Friday 21st October.

Liebherr EC Anton Källberg Benedikt Duda Aliaksandr Khanin Grigory Vlasov Tomas Konecny. Adrian risan