by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Adam Szudi, the no.8 seed, lost to Russia’s Konstantin Chernov, the no.11 seed by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding fifth game of their second round duel (12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9); conversely Istvan Molnar went from strength.
The no.32 seed, the lowest rated player in the competition; after beating Frenchman, Andrea Landrieu, the no.7 seed, in the opening round, he caused a further upset. He overcame Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, the no.20 seed, one round later (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9) to reserve his place in the quarter-finals of an ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles event for the first time in his career.
“I am having an amazing day today playing really well. My game is really consistent and strong, not making unforced errors; on top of that I have had some shots which were outstanding. Me and my coach Ivan Vitsek make a great team, we worked the tactics out for my matches together and I follow his instructions”, Istvan Molnar after beating Deni Kozul.
Success for Istvan Molnar against expectations; there was one other surprise as play advanced towards the quarter-final round. Portugal’s Diogo Chen, the no.12 seed, overcame Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, the no.5 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-8).
Three wins contrary to status, in the remaining five matches, matters advanced as predicted.
Frenchman, Can Akkuzu, the top seed, overcame Germany’s Qiu Dang, the no.14 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6), whilst Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.2 seed, defeated Russia’s Sadi Ismailov, the no.10 seed (11-7, 13-15, 11-8, 11-9). Similarly, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed, halted the progress of Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the no.19 seed (11-8, 2-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Meanwhile, Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.16 seed, accounted for Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon, the no.26 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-9) and Belgium’s Martin Allegro, the no.9 seed, ended the progress of Sweden’s Simon Berglund, the no.27 seed (6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5).
At the quarter-final stage Can Akkuzu meets Rares Sipos, Diogo Chen opposes Darko Jorgic; in the opposite half of the draw, Martin Allegro confronts Istvan Molnar, Kirill Gerassimenko faces Konstantin Chernov.
The Under 21 Men’s Singles event will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 18th January.