24 Nov 2017

Outstanding in the qualification tournament, Sweden’s Anders Eriksson and Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudev continued their good form in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Almeria on Friday 24th November.

Both had topped their respective groups contrary to expectations; listed at no.412 on the current Men’s World Ranking, Anders Eriksson had finished ahead of Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay, named at no.250; similarly Denis Zholudev, ranked no.442 had secured top spot in his group ahead of Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

An opportunity to add another scalp to the collection, it was duly grasped.

Anders Eriksson beat Bulgaria’s Philipp Floritz, the no.27 seed (8-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4); Denis Zholudev accounted for Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso, the no.29 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).

Two upsets and according to theory there was one more as play as the top half of the Men’s Singles draw advanced in Almeria.

Japan’s Kaii Yoshida, recently returned to the international scene, when at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Polish Open he reached the Men’s Singles final but as yet with no current world ranking, beat Portugal’s Diogo Chen, the no.32 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

Surprises but amongst the leading names on duty as the first round of the Men’s Singles event progressed; the leading names all enjoyed success.

Austria’s Robert Gardos, the top seed and Korea’s Cho Seungmin the no.3 seed, both accounted for Spanish opposition; Robert Gardos beat Alejandro Calvo (11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7), Cho Seungmin overcame Carlos Franco (11-8, 3-11, 11-4, 15-13, 11-9).

Impressive performances from Robert Gardos and from Cho Seungmin; it was the same from the Japanese duo of Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Kenji Matsudaira. Kazuhiro Yoshimura, the no.6 seed, defeated Germany’s Dennis Klein (11-9, 4-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3); Kenji Matsudaira, the no.7 seed, ended the hopes Indian teenager, Manav Vikash Thakkar.

Play in the second round of the Men’s Singles event will be completed later in the day.

Challenge Series Denis Zholudev Anders Eriksson

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Day 2 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open