27 Apr 2017

Matters concluded in the initial group stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open in Otocec on the morning of Thursday 27th April; surprise names secured first places.

Pride of place went to Spain’s Miguel Vilchez; he caused the biggest upset as play began.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Unbeaten on the opening day of action, currently listed at no.115 on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, he beat Kanak Jha of the United States, named at no.55, in three straight games (11-8, 11-6, 11-6) to secure top spot.

“We had met before earlier this in a Second Division club match in Sweden; that time I lost three-two. Here in Slovenia I was better prepared tactically and everything came together according to the plan. I hope for better results in the next matches in the main draw.” Miguel Vilchez

First place for Miguel Vilchez by upsetting the global order, having enjoyed an unblemished opening day, it was the same for the Czech Republic’s Stanislav Kucera, and Belgium’s Florian Cnudde.

Listed at no.113 on the current Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Stanislav Kucera beat Germany’s Denis Klein, named at no.60 (11-5, 11-8, 11-4); Florian Cnudde accounted for Frenchman, Joe Seyfried (11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11). Presently Florian Cnudde stands at no.87, Joe Seyfried five places higher at no.82.

First places secured against the odds, it was the same for England’s Luke Savill and for Russia’s Denis Ivonin but life was more complicated.

Luke Savill completed his group stage matches with victory over Ukraine’s Anton Limonov (11-5, 11-2, 11-9). The previous day he had experienced defeat at the hands of Spain’s Carlos Vedriel in four games (11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6), before recovering to defeat Frenchman, Romain Ruiz in three straight games (11-8, 13-11, 11-3).

Pertinently, Carlos Vedriel, having remained unbeaten on the opening day of action, experienced defeat in his concluding contest when facing Romain Ruiz; he was beaten in four games (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6). Thus games ratio determined the final order for the top three places; it was top spot for Luke Savill (4:3), followed by Carlos Vedriel (4:4) and Romain Ruiz (3:4).

Currently on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Luke Savill is at no.239, Carlos Vedriel at no.111; Romain Ruiz has no status but earlier this year in January was at no.78.

Somewhat similarly for Denis Ivonin, it was first place after defeat in his opening contest the previous day. He had suffered at the hands of the host nation’s Tilen Cvetko (13-11, 11-6, 11-7); it was to prove his only defeat, for the Slovenian the only win.

In his concluding contest, Denis Ivonin beat the hitherto unbeaten Alexander Valuch of the Slovak Republic (11-9, 13-11, 11-8); thus Denis Ivonin and Alexander Valuch ended the day with two wins apiece, for Tilen Cvetko and Ukraine’s Bohdan Sinkevych, who beat Tilen Cvetko in his concluding contest (14-12, 15-13, 6-11, 11-6), it was one win each. In such instances the result between the two players who are level determines the order. Thus it was pole position for Denis Ivonin with Alexander Valuch in second spot.

On the present day Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Denis Ivonin is named at no.83, Alexander Valuch at no.81.

Meanwhile, as expected, in the remaining groups, it was first place for Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama, Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus and Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki. Likewise, Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the Czech Republic’s David Reitspies, alongside the Chinese Taipei duo of Huang Chien-Tu and Wang Tai-Wei secured top spots.

Not to be left out; first places also went to the Danish duo of Tobias Rasmussen and Anders Lind as well as to Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon and Korea’s Cho Daeseong.

Players finishing in first places in each of the 16 groups, advance to the main draw where they join the 16 seeds.


Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Kanak Jha Miguel Vilchez

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