by Simon Daish
Repeat Success For Russian Defender
Polina Mikhailova required six games to see off Yui Hamamoto in their previous encounter in De Haan and it was the same scenario on the opening day of the main event in Budapest as the Russian competitor recovered from a one game deficit to defeat the 14th seed by a four games to two scoreline (9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6).
“I played her in Belgium so I knew all the changes I needed to make. I chose to defend more and wait and wait and wait for the right moment to attack or change the spin. I am very happy about this victory.” Polina Mikhailova.
Home fans endured a difficult day in the Women’s Singles draw as all three of the host nation’s contestants suffered opening round exits.
Dora Madarasz will be particularly disappointed with the outcome of her tie, losing a commanding lead to Canada’s Mo Zhang (4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 9-11) while the other Hungarian hopefuls Szandra Pergel and Georgina Pota were beaten in straight games by Bernadette Szocs (5-11, 5-11, 8-11, 9-11) and Sun Yingsha (6-11, 5-11, 11-13, 1-11) of Romania and China respectively.
Major Name Exits And Young Star Shows Grit
Spectators in Budapest were left stunned on day one of the Men’s Singles draw after witnessing a first round defeat for former World Championships silver medallist Vladimir Samsonov.
Qualifier Patrick Franziska made a terrific start to the match, claiming three of the opening four games and despite a late comeback effort from Belarusian legend Samsonov it was the unseeded German star who eventually came out on top (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5).
“He is the master of the table tennis short game and placement. I’ve never beaten him in my life and now finally the dream comes true. In this competition I feel I am improving match by match and today I was so focused on each ball, making sure I played with good quality. It has paid off.” Patrick Franziska.
Kazakhstan’s talented young star Kirill Gerassimenko came through a tricky seven game encounter in the Round of 32, claiming an impressive win against 11th seed Mattias Karlsson (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4) while there were also victories for Brazilian Hugo Calderano and Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting.
Strong Start For Chinese Pairings
China enjoyed a positive opening to the two doubles competitions as all three of the country’s partnerships successfully progressed beyond the Round of 16.
The sole Chinese pairing in the Men’s Doubles event came away with a clean sweep win as Fan Zhendong and Yu Ziyang brushed aside Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam (11-8, 11-5, 11-8).
Chen Ke and partner Wang Manyu also registered a straight games triumph in their Women’s Doubles tie against the German duo of Nina Mittelham and Sabine Winter (11-4, 11-7, 11-7) while fellow compatriots Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha proved too strong for Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Jennifer Jonsson (11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4) to reach the second stage of the competition.