by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Class 6, Spain’s Alvaro Valera and Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier both progressed safely to the last eight, as did Great Britain’s David Wetherill and Frenchman Bastien Grundeler, the respective third and fourth seeds.
A place in the last four but for David Wetherill it was hard earned; he had to recover from a two games to nil deficit to beat Russia’s Alexander Esaulov (13-15, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
“I’m a bit annoyed because I gave myself more work to do having been 10-7 up in both of the first two games. In the back of my mind I know that to win three-nil was quite important because I felt that my knee, hip and elbow could just pop at any point, so it was just a matter of grafting it really. I think that is the most pain I’ve put myself through to win a match ever so I’m quite pleased with that. The most important thing is the big W and I’m still fighting.” David Wetherill
Likewise, in Class 9, the top four names in the guise of Belgium’s Laurens Devos, Russia’s Iiuri Nozdrunov, Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem and Spain’s Juan Bautista Perez all appear in the last eight. The one surprise being that Mohamed Amine Kalem finished in second place in his group, behind Sweden’s Daniel Gustafsson.
Similarly but without any hiccups, in Class 11, the category for players with learning difficulties, the top four names all appear in the quarter-final line-up. Belgium’s Florian van Acker, Hungary’s Peter Palos and Frenchman Lucas Creange all advanced without moments of great alarm.
However, in the remaining Men’s Singles standing categories, there were problems for names very much in contention.
The winner two years ago in Vejle, Jean-Paul Montanus was the player to cause the upset in Class 7; the no.6 seed, he beat Spain’s Jordi Morales, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-2) in the opening round. An earlier than scheduled meeting, the reason being that in the group phase, Jordi Morales had lost to the Czech Republic’s Daniel Horut (6-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5), who topped the group and thus received a direct entry to the quarter-finals.
Second place in the group for Jordi Morales, it was the same for Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Popov, the no.3 seed. He lost to the Slovak Republic’s Miroslav Jambor (4-11, 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9). However, unlike the Spaniard, Mykhaylo Popov recovered to beat Frenchman Stéphane Messi, the no.5 seed (11-6, 11-5, 11-3) and thus reserved a last eight place. Miroslav Jambor duly remained unbeaten to finish in first position in the group and thus advanced directly to the round of the last eight.
Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko and Great Britain’s Will Bayley, the respective top two seeds, secured first places in their respective groups and therefore advanced directly to the quarter-finals.
In a somewhat similar vein in Class 8, in the group stage, there was defeat for Great Britain’s Ross Wilson, the no.3 seed. He lost to Poland’s Marcin Skrzynecki (11-8, 13-11, 13-11) but then in the opening round accounted for Belgium’s Mathieu Loïq (11-2, 11-7, 11-6).
“I’m really pleased. I said after the first matches that sport is so up and down. I was really positive today I knew I could turn it round. I believed in myself and in what I can do; that is what has been so good today. Hopefully I can carry that on through this competition and get further.” Ross Wilson
Eventual success for Ross Wilson in round one as expected but for Frenchman Thomas Bouvais, the no.4 seed, there was defeat. In the open round he was beaten by Poland’s Piotr Grudzien (11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 10-12, 11-9). Difficult times for the third and fourth seeds, not for the top two; both Ukraine’s Viktor Didukh and Hungary’s Andras Csonka marched relentlessly to the quarter-final round.
Defeat for the fourth seed; in Class 10 it was the same scenario, the Czech Republic’s Ivan Karabec, who had experienced a reverse in the group stage at the hands of Montenegro’s Filip Radovic (11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 8-11, 11-7) was beaten by Bulgaria’s Denislav Kodjabashev (11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3).
A loss in the group and second place for Ivan Karabec; it was the same for Austria’s Krisztian Gardos, the no.3 seed and Spain’s José Manuel Ruiz, the no.6 seed. The former was beaten by Bas Hegerlink of the Netherlands (4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6), the latter by Great Britain’s Kim Daybell (11-3, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9).
Bas Hegerlink gained direct entry to the quarter-finals; Kim Daybell, a medical student, continued his good form to beat Poland’s Igor Miszal (3-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8), Krisztian Gardos recovered to overcome Emmanuel Martins of the Netherlands (7-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7), following suit José Manuel Ruiz ended the hopes of Ukraine’s Srhii Boiko (11-9, 11-9, 11-5).
“I didn’t feel that I played my best table tennis but sometimes you’ve just got to win those games. I never enjoy playing Igor. He has always been awkward for me so I was pleased that I was able to come through at the end and show a bit of mental strength and a bit of experience. I obviously haven’t had the preparation I wanted coming in but I have been around for a while now and I’ve played a lot of tournaments and a lot of major championships. You can’t underestimate that wealth of experience and I was able to draw on that today which was good. New challenge tomorrow but I’m taking it game by game and I’ve just got to go out there hopefully play a bit better and see what happens.” Kim Daybell
Testing times but not for the leading names in Class 10; Poland’s Patryk Choijnowski and Frenchman, Mateo Boheas both advanced to the quarter-final round without due alarm.
Play in the individual events concludes on Saturday 30h September.
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