04 Feb 2017

Victory in your last match of the day has a good feeling, for Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson in the Men’s event at the 2017 ITTF-Europe Top 12 Cup in Antibes, France; it had a bitter sweet taste.

On the evening of Friday 3rd February Karlsson accounted for Croatia's Andrej Gacina to cause an upset; he prevailed in four games (13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) but his efforts were to no avail, he finished the group in fourth place.

by Ian Marshall & Simon Daish

Kristian Karlsson secured his one and only win of the day; in so doing he inflicted the only defeat of the day on Croatia’s Andrej Gacina, the no.9 seed. Kristian Karlsson succeeded in four games (13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8).

“The win feels good, obviously I finished last in the group but it was important to end the day with a victory. Of course I’m disappointed but it felt really good to be able to refocus and beat Gacina”, Kristian Karlsson.

Likewise, in the same group, in the corresponding contest there was an upset. Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, the no.14 seed, beat Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 13-11, 13-11).

The results meant that both Andrej Gacina and Alexander Shibaev ended the day with two wins; for Marcos Freitas and Kristian Karlsson it was one win apiece.

In such instances where two players are level on matches won, the contests between the players in question determine the final order. Earlier in the day, Andrej Gacina had beaten Alexander Shibaev (11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-2); Marcos Freitas had overcome Kristian Karlsson (12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

Therefore, it was first place for Andrej Gacina and progress to the quarter-finals alongside the second placed Alexander Shibaev; for third placed Marcos Freitas and fourth placed Kristian Karlsson it was the end of the road.

Furthermore, any hopes of qualifying for the Liebherr Men’s World Cup to be staged later in the year in the Belgian city of Liège had evaporated into the French night air.

Another Swedish player Mattias Karlsson has also exited from the competition, and in the same group, in his concluding match, Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.16 seed, was beaten by Germany’s Timo Boll, the no.3 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-7).

It meant that Timo Boll completed the day with a perfect record; for Panagiotis Gionis and Stefan Fegerl it was one win apiece.

Earlier in the day Stefan Fegerl had beaten Panagiotis Gionis in five games (7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9), before Panagiotis Gionis recovered to overcome Mattias Karlsson in three straight games (11-5, 11-9, 13-11).

Stefan Fegerl secured second position in the group and thus a place in the quarter-finals; next in line came Panagiotis Gionis with Mattias Karlsson in fourth spot.

 Day One: 2017 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup

Photos: Rémy Gros

2017 ITTF-Europe Top 16: Watch the proceedings unfold, live streaming from Antibes each day

Europe Top 16 Kristian Karlsson Panagiotis Gionis

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