22 Nov 2017

Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund and Austria’s Andreas Levenko alongside Belgium’s Martin Allegro duly completed their group stage matches unbeaten on Wednesday 22nd November in the qualification tournament that precedes the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Almeria.

They were the top three names on duty; however, for one notable the door has closed for several others it is still open but not wide open.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The name on whom the door has closed is that of Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz; the fourth highest rated player in action on the opening day of play in the Mediterranean resort, he was beaten by both Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo (12-10, 11-5, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10) and by Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudov (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8).

Olajide Omotayo and Denis Zholudov now meet to determine first place in the group but whatever the outcome, both can theoretically qualify for the main draw. A total of 20 groups in the first phase of proceedings, players finishing in first place in each group advance to the main event; those in second position compete in a preliminary round. The winners of the preliminary round matches plus two “Lucky Losers” from that round gain join the 32 seeds in a first round of 64 players.

Journey’s end for Ibrahim Gündüz, for two further notable names, the highest list in their respective groups, the future is out of their hands, both Belgium’s Lauric Jean and Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay have completed their group phase contests.

Lauric Jean lost to Italy’s Jordy Piccolin (11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8) but beat Sweden’s Oscar Perman (12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7). Similarly, Gavin Rumgay experienced defeat when facing Canada’s Marko Medjugorac (11-6, 13-11, 11-6, 7-11, 4-11, 6-11, 11-8), prior to overcoming Sweden’s Anders Eriksson (8-11, 4-11, 8-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Meanwhile, with one match still to play, having suffered unexpected defeats, the future progress of Austria’s Simon Pfeffer and David Serdaroglu as well as that of Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu and Italy’s Alessandro Baciocchi is on a knife-edge.
Simon Pfeffer was beaten Spain’s Carlos Caballero (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6), Saheed Idown lost to Austria’s Alexander Chen (11-8, 11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7). In a similar vein, David Serdaroglu experienced defeat at the hands of Australia’s Lin Xuqi (4-11, 11-9, 13-11, 14-12), Alessandro Baciocchi suffered against Guillermo Martinez, like Carlos Caballero from Spain (11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-1, 11-9).

Play in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament concludes on Thursday 23rd November.


Challenge Series 2017 Spanish Open Gavin Rumgay Ibrahim Gunduz Lauric Jean

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Day 2 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open