by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
He beat Tomas Polansky, the no.9 seed but he experienced a much sterner test than in the morning session of play when he had overcome Kirill Gerassimenko in three straight games (11-3, 11-4, 11-8); he needed the full five games to end the aspirations of the Czech Republic’s brightest hope (11-5, 5-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4).
Success contrary to status for Lin Yun-Ju but that was the only surprise outcome in the round of the last eight in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event.
However, it was not without some nervous moments; especially for the top seed, Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri. He needed the full five games to beat Germany’s spirited Kilian Ort, the no.7 seed, only emerging successful by the minimum two point margin in the deciding game (11-3, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Tense times for Yuto Kizukuri; for Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Frenchman, Can Akkuzu, the no.4 seed, life was less treacherous. Anton Källberg accounted for China’s Xue Fei, the no.5 seed (11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4); Can Akkuzu overcame Japan’s Yuma Tsuboi, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage Yuto Kizukuri meets Can Akkuzu; Anton Källberg opposes Lin Yun-Ju.
Just one surprise at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; in the same round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition, matters advanced exactly according to status.
One wondered if Huang Yingqi, the no.18 seed, being from China might cause an upset, it was not to be the scenario; she was beaten by Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the top seed, in four games (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10).
A four games win for Adriana Diaz, it was the same for Japan’s Mizuki Morizono, the no.2 seed; she accounted for Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku, the no.15 seed (11-3, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9).
No deciding fifth game needed; that was not the situation for Japan’s Asuka Sasao, the no.3 seed nor for Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.4 seed. Both were extended the full distance.
Eventually, Asuka Sasao overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hsuan, the no.8 seed (11-5, 10-12, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5), whilst Nina Mittelham kept her nerve to beat Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.5 seed (12-10, 6-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-7).
Nina Mittelham now meets Mizuki Morizono in the penultimate round; in the opposite half of the draw Asuka Sasao meets Adriana Diaz.
Both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 23rd August.