by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
First place in the group is the safe option in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; second place means luck must smile.
A total of 11 groups, the players finishing in first positions plus five “Lucky Losers”, drawn at random from those who end proceedings in second places, join the 16 seeds in a main draw of 32 players.
Notably the leading names on first phase duty all enjoyed a successful day. Switzerland’s Lionel Weber, Germany’s Denis Klein and India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the player who leads the ITTF World Junior Boys’ Standing, all emerged unscathed as did Gleb Shamruk of Belarus.
The noteworthy name to experience problems was Sweden’s Anders Eriksson, he needed the full five games to beat the host nation’s Eduardo Gonzalez (11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 4-11, 11-7).
Likewise, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, there was just one prominent name who endured tense times; Charlotte Carey of Wales was extended the full five games distance by Russia’s Anastasiia Komova (11-5, 6-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-6).
A vital win, in the first stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event there is no parachute; there are eight groups, only players finishing in first positions in each group advance to the main draw where they join the eight seeds.
Success for Charlotte Carey and it was success for the leading names on first stage duty. Italy’s Giorgi Piccolin and Spain’s Zhang Xuan all enjoyed a day with drama as did India’s Sharath Girish Kamath and Laura Pfeffer of France.