24 Nov 2017

The quest started two days ago; for the six players who had negotiated the qualification tournament and progressed to the second round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Almeria on the evening of Friday 24th November, it was journey’s end.

All six departed at the hands of seeded adversaries as status prevailed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Sweden’s Anders Eriksson was beaten by Italy’s Mihai Bobocica, the no.12 seed (11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8); Kazakhstan’s Denis Zholudev suffered at the hands of Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou, the no.11 seed (13-11, 9-11, 11-4, 14-13, 11-5).

Similarly, Austria’s Andreas Levenko lost to Korea’s Seo Hyundeok, the no.13 seed (11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4); the exploits of Denmark’s Tobias Rasmussen were halted by Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, the no.10 seed (11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-2).

Meanwhile, for the two most likely qualifiers to advance, it was defeat at Japanese hands. Hampus Soderlund, like Anders Eriksson from Sweden, the highest ranked player in the qualification tournament, lost Yuki Matsuyama, the no.19 seed (11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-9, 11-4); Kaii Yoshida, the runner up some six weeks ago in Poland and twice an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles winner, was beaten by compatriot Kazuhiro Yoshimura, the no.6 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 5-11, 10-12, 11-2).

Success for Kazuhiro Yoshimura and it was success in the second round of the Men’s Singles event for the leading names.

Austria’s Robert Gardos, the top seed, beat Italy’s Leonardo Mutti, the no.25 seed (11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5), Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi, the no.2 seed, accounted for Frenchman Mehdi Bouloussa, the no.31 seed (11-7, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-2).

In a similar vein Korea’s Cho Seongmin, the no.3 seed, overcame the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, the no.23 seed (11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4), whilst not to be overshadowed, Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Russia’s Andrei Baibuldin, the no.30 seed but he needed the full seven games and came perilously close to defeat. He only emerged successful by the minimal margin in the decider (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).

Notable performances and there were two more of note, Alvaro Robles and Carlos Machado kept Spanish hopes alive.

Alvaro Robles, the no.5 seed, accounted for Korea’s Park Ganghyeon, the no.20 seed (9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 13-15, 10-12, 13-11, 11-8); Carlos Machado, the no.16 seed, overcame Sweden’s Elias Ranefur, the no.26 seed (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8).

The third round and quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 25th November.

Challenge Series 2017 Spanish Open Carlos Machado Alvaro Ronles

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Day 2 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open