02 Nov 2017

Qualifier, Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre beat India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta, the no.3 seed, as shocks abounded in the second round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan on the evening of Thursday 2nd November.

In addition, the host nation’s hopes ended and the defending champion departed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Marcelo Aguirre beat Sharath Kamal Achanta in seven games (11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8); Sweden’s Victor Brodd, the no.26 seed, added to Indian woes by overcoming Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.11 seed and winner one year ago (11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9).

“I feel great. Sharath Kamal Achanta is the highest ranked player that I have ever beaten. I have played for 15 years in Europe, last year I felt my level was improving.; with this form you never know, but I don’t want to look to far ahead.” Marcelo Aguirre

However, for the Asian country, Sanil Shetty balanced the books; the no.23 seed, he upset the order of merit and caused the host nation pain. He ousted Cèdric Nuytinck, the no.7 seed, by the very narrowest of seven game margins (11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 2-11, 5-11, 11-9).

Desolation for Cèdric Nuytinck, it was the same for colleagues Robin Devos and Lauric Jean, both beaten by Japanese qualifiers. The no.16 seed, Robin Devos lost to Masaki Takami (11-6, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7), Lauric Jean suffered against Yukiya Uda (11-4, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).

Surprises and there were plenty more as the second round of the Men’s Singles event advanced.

Sweden’s Simon Ardvisson, the no.24 seed, recovered from a three games to nil deficit and the brink of defeat in the fourth and fifth games to beat Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic, the no.6 seed (4-11, 7-11, 9-11, 14-12, 14-12, 11-9, 11-8); the latter’s colleague Darko Jorgic, the no.20 seed, balanced the books for Slovenia by upsetting the odds to beat Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, the no.13 seed (11-4, 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7).

Similarly, Switzerland’s Lionel Weber progressed to unchartered territory; a qualifier, he beat Italy’s Mihai Bobocica, the no.12 seed (5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9). Meanwhile, somewhat less dramatically, Ng Pak Nam, like Lam Siu Hang from Hong Kong, upset the order of merit, the no.22 seed, he ended the aspirations of Russia’s Grigory Vlasov, the no.10 seed (11-4, 11-13, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7).

“I never went this far in an international tournament. It’s going great for me. My goal was to play in the first round and now I won two times in the main draw against very good players. I don’t want this winning streak to end.” Lionel Weber

Upsets but Germany stood firm. Ricardo Walther, the no.2 seed, Benedikt Duda, the no.4 seed, and Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seed all emerged unscathed.

Ricardo Walther accounted for Spanish qualifier Carlo Franco (11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2), Benedikt Duda overcame Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, also a qualifier (11-6, 11-5, 11-4, 11-7). Similarly, Patrick Franziska ended any aspirations harboured by Brazil’s Eric Jouti, the no.28 seed (9-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-2, 11-6).

Defeat for Eric Jouti against higher rated opposition; it was the same for compatriot, Thiago Monteiro, the no.19 seed; he was beaten by Korea’s Kim Donghyun, the no.8 seed (12-10, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7).

Challenge Series 2017 Belgium Open Marcelo Aguirre

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Day 3 - 2017 Belgium Open