by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After, Irvin Bertrand had experienced defeat at the hands of Xue Fei in straight games (11-8, 11-4, 11-5), Jules Rolland won the first two games against Wong Chuqin, the player who will represent China at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, before losing the next three (12-14, 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7)
Left handed, Wang Chuqin is very adept from the backhand playing with control and creating angles but when Jules Rolland from his forehand played the forehand attacking stroke down the line to the forehand of Wang Chuqin, he gained success.
“I was slow at the start of the match, he was attacking aggressively and I wasn’t expecting it before the match. After trailing two-nil, I already thought that I could lose the match, so I just tried to take it point by point. Playing down-the-line strokes did pose some threats to me. He was pressurising me a lot on my forehand in the match so I became more focused on my forehand; sure when he puts the ball down the line, it was kind of uncomfortable for me.” Wang Chuqin
Success for Wang Chuqin released the pressure valve; Xu Haidong duly accounted for Bastien Rembert, the winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles event earlier this year at the French Junior and Cadet Open, prevailing in three straight games (11-4, 11-4, 11-5).
China, having beaten the Indian trio of Manav Vikash Thakkar, Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Jeet Chandra by three match to nil earlier in the day concluded their second stage group matches in first position and are thus guaranteed a quarter-final place.
The decision as to who joins them in the round of the last eight depends on the outcome of the contest between India and France to be played later in the evening.