by Simon Daish
Seeded first for the category Florian Cnudde was considered to be one of the favourites to lift the trophy, or at the very least was expected to progress to the latter stages of the competition
However, the Belgian player was defeated in the opening round of the Junior Boys’ Singles main draw with Bastien Rembert of France moving into the next stage in his place (11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8).
Awaiting fourth seed Bastien Rembert in the round of 16 is another Belgian competitor after Adrien Rassenfosse overcame Portugal’s Vitor Amorim (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10), while the second seeded contestant Manav Vikash Thakkar of India stormed to a straight games triumph over Russia’s Pavel Linev (11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4) to book his place in the next stage of the tournament.
The Junior Girls’ Singles competition also reached the last 16 stage by the conclusion of day one in Spa, and for the hosts Belgium the chance of claiming the title appears to be thinning with Lisa Lung being the country’s only competitor to advance beyond the round of 32.
Receiving a bye Lisa Lung wasn’t required to participate in the round’s action, but three Belgians did step up to the table only to left disappointed.
Maelys Dahy and Lindsay De Vos both lost out across four games in their matches against Norwegian opponents Maja Haugen Gjelle (6-11, 11-2, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6) and Rebekka Carlsen (11-8, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8), with Natacha Koszulap surrendering a three-one lead before eventually losing out to Rachel Gerarts of the Netherlands (6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
Alongside the two singles events there was also play taking place in two doubles categories on the opening day in Spa.
One of the big surprises in the Junior Girls’ Doubles tournament saw the second seeded pairing of India’s Archana Girish Kamath and Priyanka Pareek bow out of the competition to Montenegro’s Ivona Petric and Greece’s Elisavet Terpou in the round of 16 (13-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8), while Ireland’s Owen Cathcart and his Norwegian partner Borgar Haug came through their Junior Boys’ Doubles tie against the no.6 seeds Ilya Isakov and Anton Kotov of Russia (11-7, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9).