by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
A somewhat new partnership, most impressively Christian Chirita and Rares Sipos secured the Junior Boys’ Doubles title at the final expense of Russia’s Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8).
Success against Russia but in the Junior Boys’ Singles event it was on France on whom Rares Sipos, the no.2 seed, inflicted the greatest level of pain.
After recording a quarter-final win over Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa, the no.21 seed (11-5, 11-3, 13-11, 11-5), Rares Sipos accounted for Jules Rolland, the no.5 seed (11-3, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6) in the penultimate round, prior to overcoming Irvin Bertrand, the top seed, to secure the title (11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11).
“I started really well, I played some unbelievable points in the final but after the third game I became a little bit more passive; he started to feel the play much better. In the first three games I was very good in the service receive game; he couldn’t open with an early attack which was my luck because he is very good at open game, he is a great player and I am so delighted to win against him.
I have already played against him around eight or nine times. A month ago he killed me four-nil, so I honestly didn’t expect to win; this gold proves that all my hard work has paid off and it gives me confidence for the World Junior Championships at the end of November. I want to thank to my father, my team, everybody who supports me. I never had dreams about winning, I just played match by match, point by point, just focused and here I am with the gold medal.” Rares Sipos
Notably, Jules Rolland was a young man in form; at the quarter-final stage he had beaten Japanese qualifier, Yutaka Kashiwa in a full distance seven games duel (11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8), the second round winner over Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang, the no.4 seed (11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 13-11).
Jules Rolland being the fifth seed, was to some extent a surprise semi-finalist, an even greater surprise semi-finalist was his colleague, Leo de Nodrest. He commenced play in the no.11 seeded position, notably beating Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, the no.3 seed, in round two, in a seven games contest (11-7, 12-14, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8), before eventually losing to Irvin Bertrand (11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-6).
One round earlier at the quarter-final stage, Irvin Bertrand had ended the hopes of Hungary’s Isvan Molnar, the no.19 seed but only just; he needed the full seven games (10-12, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5).
Proceedings concluded in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; attention now turns to the Junior Boys’ Team and Cadet Boys’ Team competitions.