by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Quadri Aruna, the no.8 seed, duly prevailed. He accounted for German qualifier Steffen Mengel, the player who in 2014, when the tournament had been staged in Szombathely, ended matters in runners up spot.
On that occasion he was beaten by Austria’s Daniel Habesohn at the final hurdle; three years later there was to be no repeat. A brave effort but Quadri Aruna was not to be denied; the Nigerian prevailed in six games (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8).
“The match was difficult from start to end. I did not have many options, it was hard to receive his serves and I had to win in the open game. My service game was really good and it helped me achieve the victory”, Quadri Aruna after overcoming Steffen Mengel
Defeat Steffen Mengel but not for his colleagues Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther; both caused upsets and both caused Chinese Taipei pain.
Ricardo Walther beat Chen Chien-An, the no.9 seed, by the very narrowest of seven games margins (2-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-9). but it was Ruwen Filus who hit the headlines.
“The last time I played him I lost only four-three, I knew I had a chance. I fought for every single point as hard as I could”, Ricardo Walther after overcoming Chen Chien-An.
A fine performance by Ricardo Walther but it was Ruwen Filus who hit the headlines. He caused what was the biggest Men’s Singles upset of the day; using his defensive skills to good effect, he beat Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed in four straight games (11-1, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8).
“I have played him many times in the Bundesliga and I have a good record against him; I believed I could win. I played the positions today really well, deep in the backhand and deep in the forehand; on top of that my control game was excellent too. I did not think I could make it in four straight games but there you go, here we are, I am very happy now”, Ruwen Filus after beating Chuang Chih-Yuan.
Disappointment for Chinese Taipei, there was also disappointment for the host nation.
The Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny beat Adam Pattantyus, the no.16 seed and Hungary’s only remaining hope in the Men’s Singles event.
Similar to Ruwen Filus, primarily defensive player, he was never able to produce the form displayed by the 28 year old German; a five games reverse was the outcome (12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10).
“I had to play a very clever game as we have played against each other in the Polish League and we know each other inside out. “The key factor for the victory was mixing my shots and keeping him under pressure by changing the spin on the ball”, Tomas Konecny after beating Adam Pattantyus
In the second round Quadri Aruna meets Tomas Konecny, Ricardo Walther opposes Ruwen Filus.
“Today unfortunately I didn’t take my chances; that made a huge difference in towards the end of each match”, Adam Pattantyus after losing to Tomas Konecny
The second round matches will be played on Friday 20th January.