by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Chuang Chih-Yuan was beaten by the German defender, Ruwen Filus (11-1, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8); China’s Li Jiayi overcame Li Jie of the Netherlands.
Success for Li Jiayi and it was success for her colleagues, all of with a similar view; the task to stake a claim in the Chinese national team for a place in the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, which commence in the German city of Düsseldorf later this year in May.
Impressively in the Men’s Singles event, Shang Kun, Lin Gaoyuan and Yan An, all players who had been required to complete the qualification procedure, emerged successful, as did their colleagues Fang Bo, the no.3 seed and Zhou Yu the no.10 seed.
Shang Kun beat Austria’s Stefan Fegerl, the no.6 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 14-12), Lin Guoyan accounted for Germany’s Benedikt Duda, the no.14 seed (11-2, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10), whilst Yan An ended the hopes of Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.12 seed (13-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).
Likewise Zhou Yu defeated England’s Liam Pitchford, who withdrew from the contest at the end of the third game (11-3, 11-6, 11-6, 11-0); Fang Bo ended the hopes of the Slovak Republic’s Wang Yang (11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7).
Success for players trying to make their mark; there were also successes for players who have made their mark time and time again. Now 40 years old, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the top seed, beat Frenchman Quentin Robinot (7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4); Korea’s Joo Saehyuk, one day short of his 37th birthday overcame Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic (12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9).
Wins for Vladimir Samsonov and Joo Saehyuk but for the 2015 Men’s Singles champion, Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi, it was defeat and agonising defeat. He was beaten by Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.7 seed, by the very narrowest of decisions ((13-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 14-12).
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Singles first round matches, it was a very similar scenario with Chinese names to the fore.
Additional to Li Jiayi; both Che Xiaoxi, the 2015 Universiade champion and Sheng Dandan caused upsets. Che Xiaoxi beat Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.8 seed (11-9, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4), Sheng Dandan ousted Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu, the no.7 seed (11-9, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6).
Wins for Li Jiayi, Che Xiaoxi and Sheng Dandan; there were also first round Women’s Singles successes, as anticipated, for compatriots Chen Meng, Chen Xingtong and Wen Jia.
Chen Meng, the top seed, overcame Alina Arlouskaya of Belarus (11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6), Wen Jia, the no.10 seed, defeated Austria’s Amelie Solja (11-4, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8). In a similar vein Chen Xingtong ended the aspirations of the host nation’s Szandra Pergel (11-4, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6).
Defeat for Szandra Pergel but there was one Hungarian success. Georgina Pota flew the flag; the no.5 seed, in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event, she defeated the Czech Republic’s Renata Srbikova (7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).
Play in the second round in both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Friday 20th January.