by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The surprise name in the lower half of the draw was that of China’s Yu Heyi and only just; in the fourth round he beat Frenchman Bastien Rembert, the no.4 seed, by the very minimal two point margin in the deciding game to reserve his quarter-final place (11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 12-10).
Less dramatically in the same round, Rares Sipos, the no.2 seed, overcame Leo de Nodrest, the no.15 seed and like Bastien Rembert from France (11-8, 13-11, 11-8, 11-8); Youssef Abdel-Aziz, the no.5 seed, accounted for Singapore’s Beh Kun Ting (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5). Similarly, Xu Yingbin, the no.8 seed also from China, ended the hopes of Japan’s Hiroto Shinosuka (11-8, 13-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Xu Yingbin now meets Rares Sipos, Youssef Abdel-Aziz confronts Yu Heyi.
Somewhat conversely, in the top half of the draw it was surprise after surprise, the biggest upset being the fourth round defeat of India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the top seed, by Japan’s Kazuki Hamada, the no.32 seed. He was beaten in five games (13-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10).
Next in the order of surprises came the defeat of Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.3 seed; he departed at the same stage. He lost to Japan’s Kakeru Sone, the no.14 seed (11-8, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 3-11, 7-11, 11-7).
Fourth round defeats for Manav Vikash Thakkar and Cristian Pletea; for Frenchman Jules Rolland, the no.6 seed, it was a second round exit at the hands of Azerbaijan’s Yu Khinhang (11-7, 3-11, 11-6, 14-12, 13-11), for Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.7 seed, it was farewell one round later when beaten by Lilian Bardet, the no.29 seed and like Jules Rolland from France (4-11, 16-14, 14-16, 11-8, 11-7).
Alas for Lilian Bardet he was beaten in the very next round by China’s Cao Yantao (11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5). Meanwhile, for Yu Khinhang accounted for Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco (11-4, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2) and Lithuania’s Medardas Stankievicius, the no.25 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 14-12) to reserve his place in the last eight.
Kazuki Hamada now opposes Yu Khinhang, Cao Yantao faces Kakeru Sone.
The quarter-finals will be held later in the day.