06 Oct 2017

The 2017 ITTF Challenge Polish Open officially opened on Friday 6th October with main draw action taking centre stage.

Here is a quick look back at a dramatic opening day in Czestochowa.

by Simon Daish

Early Exits For Third And Fourth Seeds

Two rounds of Men’s Singles action were played out on Day One of the main draw as the number of competitors was reduced from 64 to the final 16.

Spain’s Álvaro Robles was one of the players who successfully extended his stay in the competition, backing up his opening round victory over Bai He of the Slovak Republic with an outstanding display against the fourth seeded player Ho Kwan Kit.

The Hong Kong representative entered the Round of 32 encounter seeded 15 positions higher than Álvaro Robles and was the overwhelming favourite to prevail, however, a spirited performance sent the 19th seed through to the next stage of the competition (11-4, 14-16, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2).

There was also an early exit for the no.3 seed João Monteiro as the Portuguese contestant failed to take advantage of a commanding lead against Japan’s Kaii Yoshida (11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 4-11, 14-16), while the third seed Benedikt Duda of Germany recovered to see off Indian opponent Harmeet Desai (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8) at the bottom of the draw.

Success For Swedish Star

Linda Bergstrom looked at her best on the opening day of the Women’s Singles competition and deservedly booked her spot in the last 16.

Against the odds Sweden’s Linda Bergstrom negotiated a tough Round of 32 fixture against no.12 seed Polina Mikhailova, defeating the Russian athlete across six games (8-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9) to set up an encounter with the second seed Hu Melek.

Korea Republic’s Choi Moonyoung has impressed in Czestochowa, progressing beyond the qualification tournament before claiming a straight games win against 23rd seed Galia Dvorak.

However, Choi Moonyoung’s campaign was brought to a close in the last 32 of the Women’s Singles draw after she narrowly lost out to the no.4 seed Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong in the deciding game (11-4, 11-3, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11).

There was also a scare for the top seed Mima Ito with the Japanese teenage ace requiring the full seven games distance (11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5) to see off fellow compatriot Miyuu Kihara.

End Of The Road For Title Favourite

The top seeded competitors remain in both the senior singles tournaments, but the same cannot be said for the Under 21 Women’s Singles draw following the early exit of Adina Diaconu from the event.

Romania’s Adina Diaconu exited to Croatian representative Sun Jiayi by a three games to nil scoreline (10-12, 10-12, 6-11) to blow the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition wide open.

Challenge Series 2017 Polish Open Doo Hoi Kem Adina Diaconu Alvaro Robles Benedikt Duda Sun Jiayi Linda Bergstrom

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