by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The no.16 seed, Tristan Flore caused the biggest upset of the round by beating Portugal’s João Monteiro, the no.7 seed. He succeeded in a tense full distance seven games duel decided by the minimal margin (11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9) to reverse the decision of their one prior international encounter.
At the Liebherr 2015 European Championships in Ekaterinburg, João Monteiro had prevailed in four games in their first stage Men’s Team event encounter (11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 18-16).
An inspired performance by Tristan Flore; at the same time Quentin Robinot rose the occasion; the no.20 seed, he overcame Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.18 seed (11-9, 15-13, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7).
Two upsets and there was one more; Germany’s Wang Xi, the no.31 seed and winner one round earlier in opposition to the host nation’s Andrej Gacina, the no.4 seed (6-11, 11-7, 14-12, 14-12, 11-7), continued his winning ways. He beat Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the no.13 seed (7-11, 12-14, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9).
Defeat for higher rated players but in the one contest where the locals hoped for such a happening it was not to be the outcome; Tomislav Pucar, the no.14 seed, was beaten by Greek defender Panagiotis Gionis, the no.2 seed (11-9, 11-8, 12-10, 15-13).
“I’m not quite a good player in a game with a hunter. I did not train a lot for that kind of play, we did not have a lot of hunters to work with. After all, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, I lost every game by just two or three points difference.” Tomislav Pucar
Success for Panagiotis Gionis; it was the same for Ukraine’s Kou Lei, the top seed. He ended the progress of Polish qualifier Robert Floras (11-4, 11-2, 12-10, 11-5).
Meanwhile, in the remaining Men’s Singles third round contests, there were wins as anticipated for Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.5 seed, Germany’s Bendeikt Duda, the no.9 seed and India’s Harmeet Desai, the no.22 seed.
Jonathan Groth overcame Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.25 seed and like Harmeet Desai from India (11-5, 6-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-8); Benedikt Duda accounted for England’s Sam Walker, the no.32 seed (11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9). Meanwhile, Harmeet Desai ended the hopes of Japanese qualifier, Yuto Kizukuri (11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7).
At the quarter-final stage, in the top half of the draw, Kou Lei meets Tristan Flore, Quentin Robinot opposes Harmeet Desai. In the corresponding half, Wang Xi confronts Jonathan Groth, Benedikt Duda plays Pabagiotis Gionis.
The round of last eight matches in the Men’s Singles event will be played later in the day.