02 May 2017

Surprises, from the very start there were surprises as matters commenced at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Series Zagreb Open on the morning of Tuesday 2nd May; in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, Russia’s Denis Ivonin, Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and India’s Arjun Ghosh all experienced unexpected defeats.

All commenced proceedings as the highest rated players in their respective groups, in their opening matches, all found lower ranked players in determined mood.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Listed at no.83 on the current Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, Denis Ivonin, the highest ranked player in the qualification stage, was beaten by Austria’s Narayan Kapolnek, named at no.351; focused the 19 year old recovered from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful by the minimal two point margin (6-11, 10, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11).

Defeat in five games, it was exactly the same for Yanapong Panagitgun and Arjun Ghosh; both suffered agonising defeats by the very narrowest of decisions in the decisive fifth game.

Ranked no.125, Yanapong Panagitgun was beaten by 19 year old Canadian, Matthew Lehmann, listed at no.466 (11-7, 8-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-9); Arjun Ghosh lost to Korea’s Han Yubeen. Presently on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, 20 year old Arjun Ghosh is at no.135; Han Yubeen, one year younger has no status.

Close defeats and there was almost one more; Andrey Semenov, like Denis Ivonin from Russia and named at no.125 on the Under 21 Men’s World Rankings came perilously close to defeat. The 16 year old was extended to the full distance by the host nation’s 17 year old Mario Banek (11-1, 8-11, 11-7, 15-17, 11-5).

Three surprises and one close call; for the other leading names on Under 21 Men’s Singles qualification stage duty, with the exception of Denis Ivonin it was a successful start to proceedings.

Romania’s Alexandru Manole beat Croatia’s Marko Vidacek (11-4, 11-4, 11-8), Saudi Arabia’s Ali Alkhadrawi accounted for Russia’s Petr Fedotov (7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8); whilst Japan’s Masaki Takami overcame Abdulaziz Alamri, like Ali Alkhadrawi from Saudi Arabia.

Play in the group qualification stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event continues later in the day.

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Yanapong Panagitgun Denis Ivonin Narayan Kapolnek Arjun Ghosh Han Yubeen Matthew Lehmann

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