by Simon Daish
India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran begins his Men’s Singles title defence in De Haan with an opening fixture against Belarusian competitor Aliaksandr Khanin in the lower half of the draw.
Finishing at the summit of his group in the qualification tournament Aliaksandr Khanin will take a great deal of confidence into the first round of the main event, and the 19-year-old will be hoping to dethrone the reigning champion Sathiyan Gnanasekaran as early as the opening round.
Sharath Kamal Achanta is another seeded Indian competitor who could very well be a contender for the trophy, but first he must negotiate his Round of 64 encounter against the charismatic Scotland representative Gavin Rumgay.
There are six Belgian contestants for the home crowd to cheer on in the last 64, including last year’s runner up Cedric Nuytinck.
Occupying seventh position in the seeding list Cedric Nuytinck enters his opening match against German opponent Dennis Klein as the favourite to progress, while at the very top of the draw the favourite for the title Tiago Apolonia meets Japanese qualifier Yukira Uda.
Despite missing out on achieving a first position finish in her qualifying group Anastasia Kolish was handed another chance to reach the main draw of the Women’s Singles competition, an opportunity she took full advantage off with a fine display in the preliminary qualification round.
Anastasia Kolish now faces a difficult tie against the 10th seed Adina Diaconu in the Round of 64, however, when the two met at the 2017 Europe Youth Top 10 event in September all seven games were required to determine a winner so we could be set for another exciting clash between the Russian and Romanian players.
Japan has sent a strong contingent to De Haan with the top five positions in the seeding list belonging to the country’s competitors.
Top seed Hitomi Sato has been handed an opening round encounter against Iranian representative Neda Shahsavari while the opposite end of the draw sees the second seed Honoka Hashimoto take on Sweden’s Daniela Moskovits.
- Final Schedule (updated on 30/10/2017)