by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The player to enjoy success was Sam Walker, he beat fellow qualifier, Russia’s Alexey Liventsov (11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10); an outcome contrary to current status; on the present day Men’s World Ranking list, Sam Walker is named at no.163, Alexey Liventsov at no.138.
Alas from an English perspective it was defeat for Liam Pitchford; the no.6 seed he was beaten by Frenchman, Quentin Robinot, the no.15 seed (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-2, 7-11, 11-9).
Success for one Frenchman against expectations, there was success for one more; likewise by the very narrowest of seven game decisions. Abdel-Kader Salifou beat Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, the no.23 seed (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 12-14, 11-9) to become one of four players who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament to reach the quarter-finals.
In addition to Abdel-Kader Salifou and Sam Walker, Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko and Japan’s Kaii Yoshida achieved the feat.
Kirill Gerassimenko upset the odds by beating Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.19 seed (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7); Kaii Yoshida accounted for Denmark’s Zhai Yujia, likewise a player with no current world ranking (11-1, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6).
Good form continued, it was the same from India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.24 seed, as it was from Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Germany’s Benedikt Duda, the respective top two seeds.
All ended the adventures of qualifiers. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-2), Quadri Aruna overcame Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (3-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10), Benedikt Duda halted the progress of Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (11-6, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7).
At the quarter-final stage Quadri Aruna meets Abdel-Kader Salifou, Sam Walker opposes Kiril Gerassimenko; in the lower half of the draw it is Kaii Yoshida in opposition to Quentin Robinot, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran versus Benedikt Duda.
The matches will be played later in the day.