by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeats for Matteo Mutti and Aoto Asazu but they were to prove their only defeats; on the second day of action both concluded their group phase contests in style to secure second places in their group and thus progressed to the main draw. In the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, players finishing in first and second positions in their respective groups advanced to the main draw.
Both accounted for Polish opposition. Matteo Mutti beat Pawel Pisazczatowski (11-2, 11-5, 11-6), Aoto Asazu overcame Kamil Kurowski (11-7, 11-6, 11-7).
Surprise first places, there were four more. Austria’s Narayan Kapolnek, Poland’s Marco Golla and Slovakia’s Tobor Spanik secured top positions in their respective groups against the odds, as did Sweden’s Malte Moregard.
Narayan Kapolnek finished ahead of Belgium’s Thibaut Darcis, the highest rated player in the group; a similar situation applying to Malte Moregard; Russia’s Lev Katsman, favourite for first place ended in runners up spot and thus advanced to the knock-out rounds.
However, for Marco Golla and Tibor Spanik; the highest rated players in their respective groups had to settle for third position and thus no progress to the knock-out stage. Belgium’s Arthur Bilas ended matters behind Marco Golla and Norway’s Sondre Berner; likewise, Singapore’s Poh Shao Feng Ethan finished next in line to Tibor Spanik and Poland’s Tomasz Tomadszuk.
Meanwhile amongst the leading names on first phase duty; Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, the highest rated player on duty had secured his main draw place one day earlier, one day later Korea’s Kim Dyob, the next in line, did the same.
He beat the host nation’s Krzysztof Kurlenda to maintain his unbeaten record and thus reserved his place in the main draw.