by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The no.19 seed, impressively, the 15 year old accounted for Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the no.6 seed (4-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-3, 11-4) and Poland’s Marek Badowski, the no.10 seed (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8) to reserve his place in the round of the last eight.
“I was two-one down against Andreas. He was playing really well. I kept my focus on my game and placed the ball better; that made the difference to seal the match.” Truls Moregard
Success against the odds for Truls Moregard; for Bence Majoros, the no.14 seed, the path to the quarter-finals was somewhat different. In the opening round he beat Germany’s Nils Hohmeier, the no.21 seed (12-10, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8) prior to ousting Frenchman Irvin Betrand, the no.22 seed (11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 11-8), a young man who had advanced to round two, courtesy of a first round walk-over against Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, the no.5 seed.
“It is good to play at home, I had a good first match. I practise at the same club as Irvin; it is always difficult to play against your club mate. I had to work hard on my game; match by match things are coming together.” Bence Majoros.
Good form from Truls Moregard and Bence Majoros; it was the same from Patryk Zatowka. The no.13 seed, he accounted for Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica, the no.30 seed (13-15, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7) and Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.8 seed by the very narrowest of margins (4-11, 11-7, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9) to reserve his place in the last eight.
Fine performances but the pick of the bunch on the opening morning of play in Budapest was Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju. The no.11 seed, he beat England’s Tom Jarvis, the no.18 seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-6) prior to ending the hopes of China’s Niu Guankai, the no.25 seed (11-4, 11-5, 11-4), a young man who had caught the eye at the 2017 World Junior Championships when reaching the penultimate round, his nemesis being Truls Moregard. Notably, in the opening round in Budapest, Niu Guankai had added to Romanian woes by ousting Cristian Pletea, the no.7 seed (12-10, 11-9, 11-8)
“I played really well with no mistakes. I will do my best tonight.” Lin Yun-Ju
Surprise quarter-finalists but not amongst the top four names; the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Frenchman Joe Seyfried all progressed as their respective top three places predicted. Likewise, Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam, fourth in the order of merit also advanced unhindered.
Tomas Polansky beat the host nation’s Patrik Juhasz (11-4, 11-7, 11-9) prior to overcoming Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz, the no.15 seed (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9); no great alarms for the top seed, for Darko Jorgic, life was more exacting. After receiving a walk-over when due to face Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi, he needed the full five games to end the progress of Denmark’s Anders Lind, the no.12 seed (11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-13. 11-8).
“It was my first match today and first matches are always difficult; I need more time to get going.” Darko Jorgic
Testing for Darko Jorgic, for Joe Seyfried and Ng Pak Nam life was more comfortable. An opening round walk-over when due to face Italy’s Jordy Piccolin, the no.27 seed, Joe Seyfried secured his quarter-final berth courtesy of success against Russia’s Denis Ivonin (11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10). Meanwhile, in a similar vein without a game being conceded, Ng Pak Nam accounted for Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, the no.17 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-5) and Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (11-7, 11-6, 11-8) to keep his medal hopes alive.
At the quarter-final stage in the top half of the draw Tomas Polansky meets Bence Majoros, Patryk Zatowka opposes Joe Seyfried; in the lower half Ng Pak Nam faces Lin Yun-Ju, Truls Moregard confronts Darko Jorgic.
The matches are scheduled to be played later in the day, starting at 8.25pm (local time).