by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A direct entry to round two, Kanak Jha accounted for Argentina’s Alexis Orencel (11-6, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5), Hong Kong’s Chan Baldwin Ho Wah (11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) and Brazil’s Carlos Ishida, the no.12 seed (11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6) to reserve his place in the quarter-finals.
Imposing performances, the form continued; he beat Italy’s Carlos Rossi (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 14-12), followed by success against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei (11-8, 15-13, 11-4, 11-7) to book his final berth.
Success and the win more than compensated for the surprise defeat earlier in the day; in the second round of the Junior Boys’ Doubles event, when partnering Carlos Ishida and occupying the top seeded position, the duo had suffered at the hands of the Czech Republic’s David Prusa and Jan Valenta (3-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9).
“Thursday was a very long day, many matches but at the end I’m very happy. I played better and better as day went out; in final I think that I played my best here in Varazdin. Actually it is my second open tournament which I have won this year, I won in Argentina. I feel great.” Kanak Jha
Defeat for Feng Yi-Hsin but considering the fact that he is only 14 years old, it was a most creditable performance. We would need to research the medical records but by hours, minutes and maybe even seconds, he is eligible for the cadet age group category next year. He was born on Wednesday 1st January 2003.
Furthermore, on the second day of action, he collected two medals; earlier in partnership with colleague Tai Ming-Wei he had won the Junior Boys’ Doubles title.
In the Junior Boys’ Singles event, like Kanak Jha, a direct entry to the second round, he beat Russia’s Artem Dvoynikov (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9), Frenchman Florian Bourrassaud (11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7) and Korea’s Yang Yechan (11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3) to reserve a quarter-final place.
Good form, the form continued; in the round of the last eight he overcame Germany’s Kay Stumper, the no.10 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9), prior to accounting for Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.5 seed, to reserve his place in the final (11-8, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5).
Finalists as seeding advised but earlier there were upsets; prominent names experienced relative surprise defeats. Notably, Italy’s Matteo Mutti, the no.3 seed, was beaten by Slovakia’s Stefan Peko in round four (11-7, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6); alas for Stefan Peko there was no further progress; one round later he was beaten by Amin Ahmadian (11-2, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5).Likewise, Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.8 seed, there was a fourth round defeat; he lost to Kay Stumper (11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7).
Meanwhile, for Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi, the no.4 seed, it was defeat at the quarter-final stage; he was beaten by Tai Ming-Wei (11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 16-18, 11-9).
Defeat for Francisco Sanchi and the first time this year in an ITTF World Junior Boys’ Singles event, he has not reached the final; he was the runner up in Paraguay, Spain and on home soil in Buenos Aires.