by Wade Townsend
“Kids” commence and conclude play
The first day at the Seamaster 2017 World Tour Czech Open will kickoff and conclude with the Under 21 Singles events.
The players are straight in to the midst of things, with the round of 32 of the Under 21 Men’s and Women’s Singles. Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri heads the list in the men’s draw, with Belorussia’s Aliaksandr Khanin his first hurdle to the title. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Anton Källberg is occupying the bottom half of the draw as the No.2 seed. Kallberg will be keeping a watchful eye on Xue Fei, the only representative from China in the draw, who also sits in the bottom half.
It’s the same scenario in the Under 21 Women’s event, with Huang Yingqi carrying all of China’s hopes in the event. Huang will be quickly tested as the last match of the day could see her battle Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz in the quarterfinal.
Massive turnout in Olomouc
There are 38 groups in the Men’s Singles qualification rounds, with four athletes in each group looking for a place in the main event.
Egypt’s Omar Assar is fresh of the back of winning in Lagos, and leads the charge in the Men’s Singles group stage. Sanil Shetty is waiting for Assar in the group, and he will be looking to continue India’s good form on the World Tour. But the pair will not meet until the second day of play, but both will be hoping to come through their first match with Sweden’s Elias Ranefur unscathed. The likes of Jin Ueda, Liam Pitchford, Robert Gardos and Patrick Franziska will all be on the courts in the group stage.
Meanwhile there are 30 groups making up the Women’s Singles qualification draw. Japan’s Saki Shibata heads the list of women in action on the opening day. All players will be wary of unseeded athletes from China in their groups, with home crowd favourite Renata Strbikova the highest seed looking to overcome the unranked athletes.