28 Apr 2017

Players who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, in order to secure a place in the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open, continued to blossom in the second round of the Men’s Singles event on the evening of Friday 28th April.

At the close of play, no less than 10 of the 16 players, who reserved third round places, had started their journey two days earlier.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Quite incredibly only one qualifier experienced a second round defeat at the hands of a seeded opponent! Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev was beaten by England’s Sam Walker, the no.29 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-13, 11-5).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The qualifiers to cause the major upsets in the second round by beating seeded adversaries were Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, England’s Andrew Baggaley and Mexico’s Marcos Madrid alongside Russia’s Sadi Ismailov and Alexey Liventsov.

Kazuhiro Yoshimura beat Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, the no.14 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8); Sadi Ismailov overcame Austria’s Daniel Habesohn, the no.19 seed (12-10, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8), whilst Marcos Madrid ended the hopes of Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou, the no.20 seed (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-2). Meanwhile, in a closely fought seven games encounter Alexey Liventsov accounted for compatriot Kirill Skachkov, the no.20 seed (11-3, 11-6, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9).

Success by the narrowest of margins for Alexey Liventsov, it was the same for Andrew Baggaley; he ended the hopes of Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.23 seed, in a tense nail-biting contest (9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10).

“I feel relieved! The first few games I did not play as I wanted; but I kept believing and I brought my game back and finally managed to win. I now just want to enjoy this moment and for the next rounds I will just try my best for each match.” Andrew Baggaley

Success for qualifiers against seeded adversaries, in all other instances where a qualifier prevailed, it was in opposition to a player of the same ilk.

Spain’s Jesus Cantero beat Pavel Platonov of Belarus (11-3, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6); Germany’s Kilian Ort accounted for Croatia’s Frane Kojic (11-3, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

Likewise, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Tregler overcame Frenchman Romain Lorentz (12-10, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9); whilst Alexandre Robinot beat Joe Seyfried in an all-French battle (7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 14-12, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Four contests involving qualifiers and there was one more; Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama finally ran out of steam having earlier also caused Under 21 Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles upsets. He was beaten by the Czech Republic’s Anton Gavlas (11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7).

Notable performances and there were two more in the second round of the Men’s Singles event; Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.30 seed, beat Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.11 seed (11-8, 11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10), Sweden’s Jon Persson overcame Japan’s Kenji Matsudaira in quite dramatic seven games duel (5-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Quite mind blowing, at the end of the day of the top 16 seeded players, only three reached the round of the last 16.

Germany’s Bastian Steger, the top seed, booked his third place by beating the host nation’s Darko Jorgic, the no.31 seed (12-10, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6); Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, the no.10 seed, overcame Japan’s Kohei Sambe, the no.27 seed (14-12, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5), whilst Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic, the no.15 seed ended the hopes of Sweden’s Jens Lundqvist, the no.17 seed (12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5).

Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Alexey Liventsov Kazuhiro Yoshimura Sadi Ismailov Marcos Madrid Andrew Baggaley

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