by Simon Daish
On paper the tie between Sharath Kamal Achanta and Chen Chien-An should have been more of an uphill task for the Indian player than for his opponent from Chinese Taipei due to the significant difference in seeding places. As the event unfolded, however, the opposite outcome occurred as Chen struggled to deal with Achanta’s play.
The start of the match was a closely fought contest with both contestants showing their skill with aggressive rallies. Chen actually managed to establish a 6-9 lead in game one in the first to 11 points game but Achanta had other ideas and five successive points gave the Indian competitor the early lead.
Soon Achanta’s games advantage was doubled registering another two point margin victory in the second end, and from there onward the 28th seed would continue to grow from strength to strength. Two more games went to Achanta and the upset win was complete, 4-0 was the end scoreline and a well deserved place in the quarter-finals goes to India’s player.
Achanta’s only previous World Tour Men’s Singles gold came at the 2010 Egypt Open, and six years’ on the 34-year-old is now only a few matches away from potentially adding a second title to his collection. But the Indian representative can expect to face tough opposition along the way.
Germany’s Ricardo Walther (38th) put in a dominant display against the No.5 seed Maharu Yoshimura (JPN) picking up a 4-0 success to progress to the next stage, and Walther will meet the 11th seed Kenta Matsudaira in the last eight after top seed Koki Niwa suffered an unexpected defeat to his fellow countryman Matsudaira in their Round of 16 encounter.
Hugo Calderano is still in the race following the Brazilian’s positive effort against Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, while Kou Lei (UKR) eliminated the player seeded one spot above him Ho Kwan Kit (HKG) as the 13th seed recovered to steal a sixth game win.
Saturday 12th November: Men’s Singles – Main Draw