by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However Florian Cnudde is the only player in the qualification stage to be assured of top spot in a competition where players finishing in first and second positions in each of the 16 groups, join the 32 seeded players in the main draw.
Mikka O’Connor and Jan Zandecki now meet to decide second place.
Success for Florian Cnudde in the only group where there were three players; for two other leading names there were problems.
Listed at no.125 on the current Under 21 Men’s World Ranking list and the third highest rated player on initial phase duty, Italy’s Matteo Mutti was beaten by Canada’s Antoine Bernadet, a player with no current global status (11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9). One match later, Matteo Mutti recovered to beat Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodaei, also not ranked (11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6) to keep his hopes of a main draw place alive. In his second match of the day, Antoine Bernadet accounted for Poland’s Krzysztof Kurlenda (11-5, 15-13, 11-3, 11-3) and thus ended the day the one unbeaten player in the group.
One Canadian in form, causing an upset and ending the day unbeaten; there was one more. Named at no.248 on the current Under 21 Men’s World Ranking list, after overcoming Poland’s Kamil Kurowski, listed at no. 348; Marko Medjugorac accounted for Japan’s Aoto Asazu, at no.129, the highest rated player in the group.
Impressively Marko Medjugorac won in four games (11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9). Earlier in his opening match of the day, Aoto Asuzu had beaten Ukraine’s Oleksandr Tymofieiev (11-4, 11-1, 11-5).
Play in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event continues on Thursday 5th October.