by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Kanak Jha concluded his initial stage itinerary in style by beating Australia’s Rohan Dhooria, the no.16 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3); more pertinently Bastien Rembert, the no.7 seed, accounted for Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, the no.10 seed. He won in six games (11-4, 11-1, 12-10, 10-12, 9-11, 11-7).
On the opening day, Youssef Abdel-Aziz had caused a major upset by beating Kanak Jha in seven games (5-11, 13-11, 11-3, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7); immediately Kanak Jha had responded to record a straight games success in opposition to Bastien Rembert (11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10). The end result was that games ratio was needed to decide the top three places.
Kanak Jha (7:4) finished in first place with Youssef Abdel-Aziz (6:7) in second spot; third position and thus no place in the quarter-finals was the lot of Bastian Rembert (4:6). He joins Rohan Dhooria in the consolation event.
Meanwhile, in the remaining groups, life was more straightforward; Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.2 seed, concluded his first phase adventures by beating Luxembourg’s Ademir Balaban, the no.15 seed but he was severely examined. He needed the full seven games to secure a hard earned victory (8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5).
Second place in the group was clinched by India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah, the no.9 seed; in his concluding contest he overcame the defensive skills of Russia’s Artur Abusev, the no.8 seed (12-10, 11-3, 11-6, 13-15, 11-3).
Success for India and there was further success for the south Asian country; Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.3 seed, beat Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.13 seed (8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7) to secure first place in the group. Second position was reserved by Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.5 seed; in his concluding initial stage contest, he defeated Austria’s Maciej Kolodzieczyk, the no.12 seed (11-1, 11-4, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7).
First place without defeat for Cristian Pletea and Manav Vikash Thakkar; it was the same for Russia’s Denis Ivonin, the no.6 seed. He concluded his initial phase engagements with success against Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi, the no.11 seed (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7). Second position finished in the hands of Rares Sipos, like Cristia Pletea from Romania; the no.4 seed, he accounted for Sharon Alguetti of the United States (5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 3-11, 13-11) to reserve runners up spot.
Players finishing in first and second places in each group advance to the quarter-finals; for those in third and fourth positions it is the consolation event.
The Boys’ Singles quarter-finals will be played later in the day.