by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The crucial group success for Paul Mladin was against Sweden’s Melker Nilsson, the no.12 seed (4-11, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9), for Jonathan Thimon it was when facing Bulgaria’s Stefan Todorov, the no.13 seed (11-4, 11-8, 13-11).
Unbeaten in the initial phase, top place in the group reserved, in the opening round both Jonathan Thimon and Paul Maldin ended the hopes of promising Serbians. Jonathan Thimon beat Matija Jovicic (11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9); Paul Mladin defeated Milos Marinkovic (11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6).
Meanwhile, Melker Nilsson and Stefan Todorov progressed to the main draw having experienced no further group stage defeats and thus secured second places. However, in the opening round it was mixed fortunes. Melkjer Nilsson was beaten by Montenegro’s Filip Radovic (11-13, 11-9, 11-1, 11-4, 11-8), conversely Stefan Todorov overcame Romania’s Marius Radoi (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8).
First round success for Jonathan Thimon and Paul Mladin; for Bodgan Singeorzan and Akos Benko, it was defeat. Bogdan Singeorzan was beaten by Spain’s Sergei Grau (4-11, 4-11, 15-13, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5); Akos Benko suffered at the hands of Portugal’s Tiago Li, the no.7 seed (11-2, 11-9, 10-12, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7).
Earlier in the group stage, Bogdan Singeorzan had remained unbeaten, notably beating Tiago Li (11-5, 11-7, 11-8); Akos Benko had lost to Nikola Mihalovic of Bosnia-Herzogovina, the no.11 seed, in five games (11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6) but had beaten Sergi Grau in four games (11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9). Sandwiched in between, Sergi Grau had accounted for Nikola Mihailovic in four games (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6).
Thus games ratio was needed to determine the final order. It was first place for Akos Benko (5:4) followed by Sergi Grau (4:4) and Nikola Mihailovic (4:5).
Surprises but not where the very elite names were concerned. India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco and Canada’s Jeremy Hazin alongside Sharon Alguetti of the United States all finished the day in first places in their respective group and gained direct entries to the second round.
No upsets amongst the top names in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; that was not the situation in the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition.
India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seeds, duly progressed to the semi-final stage as did the combination of Jeremy Hazin and Paul Mladin the no.3 seeds. However, Portugal’s Vitor Amorin and José Pedro Francisco, the no.2 seeds, experienced a quarter-final defeat at the hands of the partnership formed by Ireland’s Owen Cathcart and Montenegro’s Filip Radovic (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9). Likewise, the United States pairing of Gal Alguetti and Sharon Alguetti, the no.4 seeds, experienced defeat in the same round when facing Portugal’s Samuel da Silva and Tiago Li (9-11, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9).
At the semi-final stage Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar meet Samuel da Silva and Tiago Li; Owen Cathcart and Filip Radovic oppose Jeremy Hazin and Paul Mladin.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Boys’ Doubles events concludes on Thursday 5th October.