by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The no.14 seed, Lin Yun-Ju booked his place in the semi-finals of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event in a most impressive manner.
After accounting for Denmark’s Anders Lind, the no.21 seed in the opening round (11-1, 12-10, 11-9), he upset the odds by beating Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.3 seed (11-3, 11-4, 11-8) and the host nation’s Tomas Polansky, the no.9 seed (11-5, 5-11, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4) to reserve his place in the penultimate round.
Furthermore, in the initial phase of the Men’s Singles competition, after overcoming Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso (11-7, 11-3, 11-3, 12-10), he caused one of the day’s biggest upsets by beating Austria’s Robert Gardos (5-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10). Currently, Robert Gardos, now 38 years old, is listed at no.53 on the World Rankings, Lin Yun-Ju is at no.210; a considerable difference.
Top place in the group against the odds for Lin Yun-Ju; in the Women’s Singles event it was exactly the same for Jamila Laurenti.
Listed at no.350 on the Women’s World Rankings, she accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Yu-Chin (11-4, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4) prior to causing a major upset overcoming the defensive skills of Ukraine’s Ganna Gaponova (11-2, 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-1). Presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Tsai Yu-Chin is named at no.227, Ganna Gaponova at no.98.
A surprise defeat for Robert Gardos, the fourth highest rated player on first phase Men’s Singles duty; amongst the top eight names there was also one other major casualty. Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic, world ranked no.56, was beaten by Frenchman Mehdi Bouloussa; a player who owing to an absence in recent times from international play, has no current world ranking. Notably Mehdi Bouloussa ended the day unbeaten and, with one match remaining for each player, is the favourite to top the group.
Upsets but for other leading names on qualification duty, in both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, it was one match played, one win secured.
In the Men’s Singles event it was success for Egypt’s Omar Assar, Germany’s Ricardo Walther and Sweden’s Pär Gerell in addition to Japan’s Jin Ueda. Likewise, in the Women’s Singles competition, Japan’s Saki Shibata, Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova and Poland’s Natalia Partyka all ended the day without defeat.
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events, with the exception of Lin Yu-Ju it was the leading names that reserved penultimate round places.
At the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles competition, Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri, the top seed meets Frenchman Can Akkuzu, the no.4 seed; Sweden’s Anton Källberg, the no.2 seed, faces Lin Yun-Ju.
In the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the top seed, opposes Japan’s Asuka Sasao; in the opposite half of the draw it is Mizuki Morizono, the no.2 seed and also from Japan in opposition to Germany’s Nina Mittelham.
Both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 23rd August.