by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Similarly, Sweden’s Pär Gerell, the no.6 seed, needed the full seven games to beat Austria’s Alexander Chen (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-1), whilst Portugal’s João Monteiro, the no.7 seed, required six games to end the hopes of Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura (6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Testing times for three principal names but for one more, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.4 seed, there were no great moments of drama. He beat Hungary’s Tamas Lakatos in four straight games (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9).
Wins as anticipated but there were upsets as play commenced in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, pride of place going to Poland’s Robert Floras. He accounted for Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, the no.12 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-2), a player against whom he had experienced defeat in their two previous meetings in World ranking events.
At the 2012 European Championships Grigory Vlasov had prevailed, just as had been the situation earlier this year at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open. However, the result in Belarus was clearly one from which Robert Floras could take heart; he had extended Grigory Vlasov the full seven games distance (7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 11-5).
An impressive performance by Robert Floras; it was the very same from Korea’s Cho Daeseong, as it was from the Japanese duo of Shunsuke Togami and Yuto Kizukuri.
Cho Daeseong beat Sweden’s Harald Andersson, the no.30 seed (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8), whilst Shunsuke Togami accounted for the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny the no.10 seed (14-12, 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) and Yuto Kizukuri ended the hopes of Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.27 seed (12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8).
Defeat for Harald Andersson but there was a degree of compensation for Sweden; Viktor Brodd overcame the Slovak Republic’s Bai He, the no.29 seed (11-5, 12-10, 4-11, 13-11, 12-10).
The second round of the Men’s Singles event commences later in the day.