by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
He was beaten by Belgium’s Martin Allegro, the no.9 seed but he did not depart without a fight; he extended his worthy adversary the full five games distance (11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-4).
Success for Martin Allegro as anticipated; it was the same in the three remaining Under 21 Men’s Singles round of last eight duels.
However for Frenchman, Can Akkuzu, the top seed, he came perilously close to defeat against a spirited Romanian in the guise of Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.16 seed.
Eventually he succeeded in five games but in the fourth had to save one match point (7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7).
“He made a very aggressive start and good tactics against me so I found myself two-one down. I started mixing my serves more so could take lead in game four. I took the lead 8-3 but credit to him he never gave up and came back to lead 10-9 so I had to save one match point; I won that game 12-10. I have to be more awake from the start in the semi-final and I need a good rest and preparation”, Can Akkuzu after beating Rares Sipos
Meanwhile, both Kazakhastan’s Kirill Gerassimenko and Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic emerged successful with such drama or the need for a deciding game.
Kirill Gerassimenko beat Russia’s Konstantin Chernov, the no.11 seed (11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9); Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Portugal’s Diogo Chen, the no.12 seed (9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage, Can Akkuzu meets Darko Jorgic, Martin Allegro opposes Kiril Gerassimenko.