11 Mar 2017

A place in the main draw secured; the host nation had more than cause to celebrate as play commenced on the morning of the fourth day of action, Saturday 11th March, at the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano.

Italy ‘B’, the no.15 seeds, comprising Carlo Rossi, Gabriele Piciulin and Matteo Cerza had excelled all expectations to remain unbeaten in the group stage of affairs and thus secured top spot.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

In the main draw, at the quarter-final stage, that form was maintained, a three-nil win was recorded against the Slovenia outfit formed by Tielen Cvetko, Peter Hribar and Luka Norcic, the no.6 seeds.

One upset in the round of the last eight in the Junior Boys’ Team event; there was one more with Christian Freidrich very much the player in form.

After Maciej Kolodziejczyk had beaten Tibor Spanik (7-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8), he accounted for Stefan Peko (16-14, 12-10, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8) and Tibor Spanik (9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6) to secure a three-one win for Austria, the no.10 seeds, in opposition to the Slovak Republic, the no.3 seeds.

Success for Italy ‘B’ and for Austria; as expected there was success for the German trio of Tobias Hippler, Meng Fanbo and Cedric Meissner. The no.2 seeds, they overcame the Spanish formation comprising Joan Masip, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Sergi Grau by three matches to one.

At the semi-final stage Italy ‘A’, represented by Antonino Amato, Matteo Mutti and Daniele Pinto, the top seeds and direct entrants to the last four, meet Austria; Italy ‘B’ confronts Germany.

Likewise in the Junior Girls’ Team event, for the Serbia outfit of Tijana Jokic, Izabela Lupulesku, Sabina Surjan, Dragana Vignjevic and Andjela Menger, the top seeds, it was the direct route to the last four; as it was for their semi-final adversaries, the no.3 seeds, the trio comprising Thailand’s Monapsorn Saritapirak who partners the Belarus duo of Nadezhda Bogdanova and Maharyta Baltushite.

Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Germany, the no.2 seeds, who select from Lotta Rose, Laura Tiefenbrunner, Jennie Wolf and Franziska Shreiner confront Hungary, the no.4 seeds, who select from Orsolya Feher, Fanni Harasztovich, Leonie Hartbricht and Katia Fule.

Selecting Orsolya Feher, Fanni Harasztovich, Leonie Hartbricht; in the one quarter-final contest required, the Hungarians secured a thrilling three matches to two win over Slovenia, the no.6 seeds, represented by Aleksandra Vovk, Ana Tofant and Katarina Strazar.

Impressively, Ana Tofant remained unbeaten, she overcame Leonie Hartbricht (11-6, 11-8,11-1) and Osolya Feher (11-6, 11-6, 11-4) but the day belonged to Leonie Hartbricht; in the concluding match of the fixture, she accounted for Aleksandra Vovk in a dramatic contest decided by the minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game (11-4, 5-11, 1-11, 15-13, 14-12).

Day Four: the action live from the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano

World Junior Circuit 2017 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Maciej Kolodziejczyk Carlo Rossi Gabriele Piciulin Matteo Cerza Christian Freidrich

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