28 Apr 2017

Simply in Otocec, there is no stopping Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama. In the first round of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event he beat Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the top seed; later at the same stage of the Men’s Singles competition, he ousted Poland’s Jakub Dyjas, the no.2 seed, now in the Men’s Doubles he has upset the order of merit once again!

Partnering compatriot Kazuhiro Yoshimura, on the evening of Thursday 28th April, the duo beat Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Taras Merzlikin, the no.2 seeds, in the opening round; not only did the Japanese duo win, they won in three straight games (11-9, 12-10, 13-11).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Defeat for Alexey Liventsov and Taras Merzlikin against expectations but they were not alone; three further seeded pairings experienced opening round exits with Russia experiencing more anguish.

Kirill Skachkov and Grigory Vlasov, the no.4 seeds, suffered at the hands of the combination formed by Croatia’s Frane Kojic and Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6).

Likewise Chinese Taipei’s Huang Chien-Tu and Sun Chia-Hung, the no.6 seeds, lost to Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet (11-5, 12-10, 11-13, 7-11, 11-9), whilst for the partnership comprising Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, it was farewell at the hands of Korea’s Choi Wonjin and Lee Jungwoo (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7).

Surprises; it was also the end of the road for the host nation; Deni Kozul and Jan Zibrat experienced defeat at the hands of Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the no.3 seeds in the most closely contested match of the round; they suffered by the minimal margin in the deciding fifth game (4-11. 11-7, 12-14, 11-5, 13-11).

Surprise exits but not for the top seeds; Belgium’s Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck accounted for the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger and Tomas Tregler (11-8, 11-9, 11-5).

The quarter-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 29th April.

Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Yuki Matsuyama

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