by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the penultimate round he ended the hopes of colleague, Federico Falco (14-12, 10-12, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6) to reserve his place in the final against Hungary’s Endre Major, the top seed.
Likewise the Hungarian topped his group, prior to ousting Great Britain’s Tom Matthews, the no.3 seed, in the penultimate round (11-7, 11-6, 11-8).
Finalists as status predicted, it was the same in two further Wheelchair Classes. In Class 2, in the final, the Czech Republic’s Jiri Suchanek meets Ukraine’s Oleksandr Yezyk; in Class 5 Serbia’s Mitar Palikuca opposes Belgium’s Bert Brands.
No surprises; that was not the situation in Class 3 and Class 4; in the former, Romania’s Dacian Makszin was the surprise name to reserve a final place, in the latter it was Israel’s Shai Siada.
The appearance of Dacian Makszin was the greater surprise, he was the no.6 seed; Shai Siada was the no.3 seed.
Both as anticipated finished in first places in their respective groups, in the second stage both excelled. Dacian Makszin accounted for the Czech Republic’s Petr Svatos (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5), before overcoming Ukraine’s Vasily Petruniv, the no.4 seed (11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6) and the in-form, Russia’s Vladimir Toporkov (11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10) to reach the title decider. Notably, at the quarter-final stage, Vladimir Toporkov had overcome Frenchman, Florian Merrien, the top seed (6-11, 11-9, 15-13, 5-11, 11-9).
In the final Dacian Makszin faces Germany’s Thomas Brüchle, the no.2 seed.
Good form from Dacian Makszin, it was the same from Shai Siada; an unblemished record in his group phase contests, in the main draw he accounted for Frenchman, Alexandre Delarque, the no.2 seed (10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7) to reach the final. In the gold medal contest, Poland’s Rafal Lis, the top seed, awaits.
Play in the individual events concludes on Thursday 2nd March.
Day One: 2017 Lignano Masters Para Open: Draws and Latest Results