by Simon Daish
One of the standout encounters of the day was Kaii Yoshida’s meeting with Quadri Aruna, meeting for the first time at a world ranking event and it didn’t disappoint. Yoshida made a magnificent comeback, recovering from three-one down to defeat the Nigerian player 4-3 (11-9, 11-13, 6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10, 15-13).
Another Japanese representative who required the full seven games distance was Olympic Men’s Team silver medallist Maharu Yoshimura; the host nation’s Chen Weixing put up a brave fight in front of his home fans in the TipsArena Linz venue but Yoshimura eventually found his way over the line by holding out for a place in the next round.
Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa were on the right side of four-nil outcomes eliminating Sweden’s Anton Kallberg and Korea’s Kim Minhyeok respectively; two players from Japan will battle it out against each other for a quarter-finals spot.
The fifth Japanese player to advance beyond the last 16 was Yuto Muramatsu, who saw off Tomas Konecny of the Czech Republic in five games.
Title winner at the recent 2016 Africa Senior Championships Assar went into his match against Apolonia full of confidence, and the motivation to carry his form onto the world stage was apparent from the Egyptian’s performance, as he overcame Apolonia in the sixth game to set up a clash with Yuto Muramatsu.
Seventh game victories were very much in abundance on day three of the Open with six of the Round of 32 matches requiring a decider; alongside the four-three wins from Kaii Yoshida and Maharu Yoshimura there were seventh game triumphs for: Sharath Kamal Achanta, Benedikt Duda, Hugo Calderano and Jonathan Groth.
India’s Achanta prevented a comeback attempt from Portuguese player Joao Monteiro, while a similar scenario unfolded for Denmark’s Groth who held off challenger China’s Zhou Kai. Fang Yinchi just missed out on a place in the last 16 as Brazil’s Calderano edged out the Chinese player opponent, and Germany’s Duda came out on top against Croat Andrej Gacina.
Germany will see two more of their contestants join Benedikt Duda in moving through to day four’s action following respective Round of 32 successes for Ricardo Walther and Ruwen Filus over Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Hung-Chieh and third seed Stefan Fegerl (AUT).
Friday 11th November: Men’s Singles – Main Draw