by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Ready for the challenge, nothing to lose, uninhibited, he caused the biggest shock possible. In the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, he beat Tiago Apolonia, the top seed; he emerged successful in six games (11-9, 12-14, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9).
A surprise but if it is some consolation for Tiago Aplonia, Yukiya Uda is no stranger to upsetting the formbook.
“I am really happy with this victory against Apolonia; this is one of my biggest wins in my career. In Japan I have already beaten Yuya Oshima and Koki Niwa. I won against the number one seed; this maybe gives me an opportunity to go all the way.” Yukiya Uda
Defeat for Tiago Apolonia, he was not alone; a further six seeds in the top half of the draw departed in the opening round.
Winner on the ITTF World Tour in Belarus and Egypt in 2012, the no.15 seed in De Haan; Vasily Lakeev was beaten by Denmark’s Anders Lind (13-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7) on what was not the best of times for Russia. In addition, Sadi Ismailov, the no.21 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of another in form player from Japan; he suffered at the hands of Masaki Takami (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6).
Success against the odds for Anders Lind and for Masaki Takami; it was the same as matters advanced in the top half of the draw for Switzerland’s Lionel Weber, Hungary’s Bence Majoros and Slovenia’s Deni Kozul. All exceeded expectations.
Lionel Weber beat Bulgaria’s Philipp Floritz, the no.31 seed, by the very closest of decisions (9-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9), Deni Kozul accounted for Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso, the no.30 seed (11-6, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7). Likewise, Hungary’s Bence Majoros ended the hopes of Belgium’s Florent Lambiet, the no.15 seed (13-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7).
Disappointment for the host nation but there was a degree of recompense; Lauric Jean gained a walk-over against the absent Slovakian, Thomas Keinath, the no.32 seed.
Meanwhile, as matters commenced in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, other than for the dramatic defeat of Tiago Apolonia, there was success for the principal names with Germany prominent.
Benedikt Duda, the no.4 seed, beat Argentina’s Rodrigo Gilabert (11-5, 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9), Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seed, defeated Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung (11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9).
Not to be upstaged, the irrepressible Slovenian, Bojan Tokic ended the hopes of Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4).