25 Nov 2017

Four quarter-final contests, four upsets; such was the scenario in the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Almeria on the evening of Saturday 25th November.

Furthermore, one of the names to fall was that of the host nation’s bright hope; Alvaro Robles.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The no.5 seed, he was beaten by a young man in form; the no.10 seed, he suffered defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, the player who just over two hours earlier had won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title. Lam Siu Hang underlined the fact that he was in form by recording a very impressive straight games win (11-4, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5).

It was the most emphatic outcome in the round of the last eight but Alvaro Robles was not the biggest name to fall; that unwanted distinction belonged to Robert Gardos. The top seed, he was beaten by Japan’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, the no.6 seed (11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10).

Is Robert Gardos destined to join Hong Kong’s Li Ching and Tang Peng as one of the best ever players never to win an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series tournament? All three have reached finals and lost.

Defeats for Robert Gardos and Alvaro Robles; to add to the rather unusual situation; there were surprise defeats for two brothers; conversely there was more success for Hong Kong.

Nima Alamian, the no.9 seed was beaten Lam Siu Hang’s colleague Ng Pak Nam, the no.14 seed (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9); elder brother, Noshad Alamiyan, the no.4 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.9 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6).

At the semi-final stage Kazuhiro Yoshimura plays Ng Pak Nam; Sathiyan Gnanasekaran opposes Lam Siu Hang; the matches are scheduled to be played on the morning of Sunday 26th November.


Challenge Series 2017 Spanish Open Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Kazuhiro Yoshimura Lam Siu Hang Ng Pak Nam

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Day 2 - 2017 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open