Tournaments

03 Feb 2018

Much is written about Egypt’s Omar Assar, his performances lifting the north African country to new heights; it would appear he has a worthy successor, a young man to follow in his footsteps and perhaps in the next few years raise the bar event higher.

Stand tall, Youssef Abdel-Aziz, at the Luxembourg 2018 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, above all, he has been the player to attract the attention.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

In his very first match of the tournament he caused a major upset by beating Kanak Jha of the United States, the top seed (5-11, 13-11, 11-3, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7). Now as the second day of action, Saturday 3rd February, came to a close, once again he raised the eyebrows.

Occupying the no.10 seeded position, he accounted for Cristian Pletea, the no.2 seed (11-9, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7, 11-6) on what was not the best of days for Romania. Additional to Cristian Pletea, Rares Sipos, the no.4 seed was beaten by India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.3 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8); the young man who currently occupies top spot on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings.

An earlier than anticipated meeting between the third and fourth seeds; the reason being that Rares Sipos had experienced defeat at the hands of Russia’s Denis Ivonin in the group phase of proceedings (11-7, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6) and thus had to settle for second place.

Denis Ivonin remained unbeaten to top the group and duly maintained his fine form; the no.6 seed. He accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.5 seed in a tense seven games encounter determined by the minimal two point margin in the decider (16-14, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 14-12, 14-12, 11-9) to reserve his place in the last four.

At the semi-final stage he meets Kanak Jha, the quarter-final victor over India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.9 seed (11-8.11-8, 11-9, 13-11); in the opposite half of the draw Youssef Abdel-Aziz faces Manav Vikash Thakkar.

Play in Luxembourg concludes on Sunday 4th February.

World Junior Circuit Finals 2017 World Junior Circuit Finals 2017 Finals Youssef Abdel-Aziz
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Day 3 - Luxembourg 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals