07 Feb 2017

Upsets abounded as matters commenced in the Russian city of Sochi on the third day of play, Saturday 4th February, at the Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championship; in both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, the top seeds departed in the opening round.

However, they were not alone.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Despite a spirited recovery, Sweden’s Anton Källberg, favourite for the Men’s Singles title was beaten by Poland’s Marek Badowski in a full distance seven games duel (11-1, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5).

Earlier in the counterpart Women’s Singles event Romania’s Adina Diaconu experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Chantal Mantz (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10).

Victory for Chantal Mantz and a much better start to the day than some 24 hours earlier; the no.3 seed, she had been beaten by Croatia’s Dorina Srebrnjak (9-11, 3-11, 13-11, 11-2, 15-13, 6-11, 11-9) in her first contest of the tournament. The defeat destined the German to second place in the group.

However, Chantal Mantz is now the highest rated player remaining player in the Women’s Singles event, colleague Nina Mittelham, the no.2 seed, having withdrawn through injury the previous day.

Chantal Mantz is one of only four players who received a direct entry to the second phase; the others being Poland’s Natalia Bajor, Russia’s Mariia Tailakova and Wan Yuan, like Chantal Mantz from German.

In the opening round, Natalia Bajor, the no.4 seed, beat Croatia’s Klara Cakol (8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7); Mariia Tailakova, the no.7 seed, overcame Alina Nikitchanka of Belarus (11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 11-7), whilst Wan Yuan, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Italy’s Veronica Mosconi (11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).

Shock in the first round of the Women’s Singles event; it was just the same in the opening round of the Men’s Singles competition.

Additional to Anton Källberg; Romania’s Cristian Pletea was beaten by Germany’s Qiu Dang (8-11, 13-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8); the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, the no.8 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of England’s Tom Jarvis (12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8).

The outcome is that in the top half of the Men’s Singles draw no seed remains. In the lower half Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Germany’s Kilian Ort remain.

Impressively, Tomislav Pucar, the top seed, beat Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 17-15) to reserve his last eight place; Darko Jorgic, the no.3 seed, caused Romania more pain by overcoming Rares Sipos (12-10, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9). Not to be outdone, Kilian Ort, the no.5 seed, halted the aspirations of Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece (11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10).

All quarter-final matches will be played later in the day.

Day Three: Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships
Photos: Alex Lomaev – Butterfly

Latest results: Stag European Under 21 Championships.

Stag 2017 European Under 21 Championships Marek Badowski Tom jarvis Qiu Dang Ekaterina Guseva Chantal Mantz