05 May 2017

The 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open has reached its penultimate day of play; there is an exciting action-packed schedule set for Friday 5th May.

Not only will the Men's Singles and Women's Singles competitions decide which players will contest the last four but the two Under 21 events will crown champions and the two doubles categories will determine which pairs will take part in the final day's showdown for the titles.

by Simon Daish

The Men’s Singles tournament will resume with Round of 16 action, and one player who will be looking to further his good form in Zagreb is Poland’s Robert Floras.

Victories against Grigory Vlasov and Cho Daeseong in the previous stages of the main draw will give Robert Floras a huge confidence boost, but the Polish representative faces a tough fixture against the top seed Kou Lei of Ukraine for a place in the quarter-finals.

France’s Quentin Robinot and Spain’s Alvaro Robles are expected to play out a close fight, as the respective 20th and 18th seeds attempt to progress through to the quarter-finals where they will meet either one of India’s Harmeet Desai or Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri.

With the early elimination of Hitomi Sato from the Women’s Singles event, the highest seeded player remaining in the draw is another Japanese contestant Honoka Hashimoto.

The second seeded competitor Honoka Hashimoto will meet Norway’s Ma Wenting, who picked up an impressive win against the ninth seed Maria Dolgikh in the previous round.

Nina Mittelham and Tamolwan Khetkhuan were two of the surprise names to progress through to the Round of 16 following their victories over the 10th and third seeded players Nanthana Komwong and Elizabeta Samara, and the German and Thai contestants will now meet one another with a spot in the quarter-finals up for grabs.

The first silverware of the 2017 Zagreb Open will be claimed in the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles draws, as both competitions draw to a close.

Kirill Gerassimenko is one of the brightest emerging talents in table tennis and the Kazakhstan star will be hoping to finish above Japan’s Koyo Kanamitsu, Yuto Kizukuri and the Czech Republic’s Tomaš Polansky in the battle for the Under 21 Men’s Singles trophy.

Puerto Rico’s Adriana Díaz is sitting in a strong position in the Under 21 Women’s Singles category, but the no.3 seed will require a positive display in her match against Adina Diaconu of Romania with a title deciding encounter against either Japan’s Miyuu Kihara or Ji Eunchae of Korea Republic awaiting the victor.

There will also be two rounds of doubles action taking place on the penultimate day in Zagreb.

One pair worth keeping a close eye on is Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos of Belarus after they eliminated the Women’s Doubles second seeds on Day One, while over in the Men’s Doubles event the fixture featuring France’s Tristan Flore and Abdel-Kader Salifou taking on Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan could prove to be a fascinating encounter.

Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Adriana Diaz Honoka Hashimoto Kirill Gerassimenko Tristan Flore Daria Trigolos Nima Alamian Nadezhda Bogdanova Noshad Alamiyan Abdel-Kader Salifou Robert Floras

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