by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After winning the first three games against Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, Bastian Steger had to resist a determined recovery by the 20 year old, eventually emerging successful by the very narrowest of margins in the decisive seventh game (12-10, 11-5, 14-12, 6-11, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9).
Similarly, it was a minimum two point seven games winning margin for Jon Persson; he ended the progress of Frenchman Alexandre Robinot (11-8, 3-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9).
Success for two seeds and for one more, Iran’s Nima Alamian, the no.30 seed, beat qualifier Sadi Ismailov (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7); however, they were the only seeds to survive.
Alas for Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and England’s Sam Walker, all seeded players, it was defeat. All lost against players who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament.
Grigory Vlasov, the no.10 seed, was beaten by compatriot, Alexey Liventsov (10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 14-12); Aleksandar Karakasevic suffered against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Tregler (9-11, 12-10, 11-1, 9-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8), whilst Germany’s Kilian Ort signalled the end of the road for Sam Walker, the no.29 seed (11-4, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Quarter-final places for three players who had survived the qualification process; there were places for two more by definition, as fellow qualifiers met.
Spain’s Jesus Cantero, who in the opening round had recovered from a three games to nil deficit against Canada’s Eugene Wang, the no.6 seed (9-11, 4-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6) accounted for England’s Andrew Baggaley (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10); the Czech Republic’s Anton Gavlas ended the progress of Mexico’s Marcos Madrid (12-14, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7).
“The turning point of the tournament for me was the comeback from three-nil, to win in the first round. After achieving the impossible, I became confident and just kept on going! I feel good and I just enjoy!” Jesus Cantero
At the quarter-final stage Bastian Steger meets Nima Alamian, Jesus Cantero opposes Kilian Ort; in the opposite half of the draw it is Alexey Liventsov versus Tomas Tregler, Jon Persson in opposition to Antonin Gavlas.
Play in the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event is scheduled to commence later today at 7.50pm (local time).