06 Oct 2017

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Germany’s Benedek Duda stand firm, so do England’s Liam Pitchford and Frenchman Quentin Robinot; meanwhile, Spain’s Alvaro Robles, Russia’s Grigory Vlasov and India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran also remain but against the odds.

Following the conclusion of the second round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Polish Open in Czestochowa, from an original 32 names at the start of the day, they are the only seeded players remaining.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A total of 16 notable names experienced unexpected defeats in the opening round, a further nine followed suit in round two; the most prominent casualties being Portugal’s João Monteiro and Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit.

João Monteiro, the no.3 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Kaii Yoshida in what was the match of the round, a classic. The right handed all action pen-holder, who has ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles to his credit but has been absent from the international scene in recent times and thus has no world ranking, emerged victorious in a titanic struggle (7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 16-14).

Meanwhile, in a rather less dramatic contest, Ho Kwan Kit, the no.4 seed, suffered at the hands of Alvaro Robles, the no.19 seed (11-4, 14-16, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2); one of the few contest when seeds met. Similarly, Grigory Vlasov, the no.23 seed, beat Romania’s Adrian Crisan, the no.13 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6); Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.24 seed, ousted Croatia’s Tomiskav Pucar, the no.16 seed (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2).

Notable wins and there were notable wins for qualifiers when facing seeded adversaries.

Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus beat the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny (11-6, 11-9, 13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-9); Russia’s Alexey Liventsov overcame Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa, the no.29 seed (4-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8), whilst Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic ended the hopes of Romania’s Hunor Szocs, the no.11 seed (11-3, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4).

Surprises but steadfast, Quadri Aruna, the top seed, beat the Czech Republic’s Michal Obeslo, the no.22 seed (10-12, 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, whilst Benedek Duda, the no.2 seed, ended the hopes of India’s Harmeet Desai, the no.17 seed (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8).

At the same time, Liam Pitchford, the no.6 seed, overcame Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, the no.31 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6); by the very narrowest of margins, Quentin Robinot, the no.15 seed, ended the adventures of Russian qualifier, Kirill Skachkov (11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9).


Challenge Series 2017 Polish Open Quadri Aruna Liam Pitchford Quentin Robinot Benedek Duda

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