by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Now 26 years old, the young man from Guayaquil who, in recent years has been on duty for the celebrated German club, Zugbrücke Grenzau, beat Peter Fazekas in five games (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3).
“It is a great result from me on my first match. The first two games was a very tight it was very hard to work him out. My last World Tour was in Doha 2016 and it was difficult to find the rhythm .After the first two game I could force my tactics ono him; I took my chances to win”, Alberto Miño after beating Peter Fazekas
The reason the other three players caught the eye was very much owing to their heritage; China.
Liang Jinkun, Shang Kun and Liang Jinkun all impressed and underlined the fact that, not only are they contenders to secure main draw places; also they are major challenger for the title itself.
Notably, the last occasion when Shang Kun appeared on the ITTF World Tour, in Japan in June 2015, he achieved what everyone in 2016 found just about impossible! In the second round of the Men’s Singles event he beat Ma Long (11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8).
In Budapest, Martin Allegro suffered a similar fate (11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6); at least the 20 year old from Belgium can say that he has something in common with the reigning Olympic and World champion!
“I have not played in an ITTF World Tour tournament since 2015 Japan it took me a few games to get going. I felt a little nervous and I am working towards to the latter stages. As soon as my footwork started to pick up I felt more confidence in my game. I am looking forward for the next match”, Shang Kun after overcoming Martin Allegro
Meanwhile, similar to Alberto Miño, Yan An caused Hungary pain by beating Adam Szudi (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-3), whilst and Liang Jingkun overcame Frenchman Mehdi Bouloussa (6-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5).
“I didn’t play for a long time any World Tour or open tournament so I was little bit nervous but I think for the next matches I be better”, Yan An after beating Adam Szudi
Two defeats for the host nation but there was one win that stood out; impressively Daniel Kriston accounted for Australia’s Heming Hu (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-2).
“I started slowly to get used to the hall and the atmosphere here in Hungary. I felt positive about my serves and they worked really well and my strokes were better and better game by game”, Daniel Kriston after defeating Heming Hu
None of the leading names in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event was required to compete in the opening series of matches; they enter proceedings in the second series.