16 Feb 2018

An unbeaten display, Simon Belik was very much the toast of the host nation on the third day of play, Friday 16th February, at the 2018 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin; he remained unbeaten as alongside Matej Stach top place in their Cadet Boys’ Team initial phase group was sealed.

The no.6 seeds, the pair finished ahead of Russia’s Mikhail Rozhkov and Semen Shevnin with the Bulgarian pairing of Georgi Eftimov and Stoyan Sariev in third place; a competition in which only first place in each of the eight groups assured progress to the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Against Bulgaria, Simon Belik beat Georgi Eftimov (11-7, 11-8, 11-6), before Matej Stach accounted for Stoyan Sabiev (11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-8) and a doubles success (9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8) secured a three-nil win.

Impressive against Bulgaria, it was the same in opposition to Russia in a three-one victory margin. Simon Belik overcame Mikhail Rozhkov (11-2, 15-13, 11-9) and Semen Shevnin (11-5, 11-3, 11-9) whilst sandwiched in between teaming with Matej Stach to secure doubles success (11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7). The one success for Russia was recorded by Semen Shevnin, in the second match of the fixture he beat Marej Stach (11-8, 10-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6).

First place as expected for the Czech Republic duo, it was the same for Belgium’s Nicolas Degros and Adrien Rassenfosse, the top seeds, as it was for the French combination of Than Claude, Felix Lebrun, Fabio Rakotoarimanana and Myshaal Sabhi, the no.3 seeds.

Similarly, it was first place for Poland’s Maciej Kubik and Szymon Kolasa, the no.4 seeds; a situation that also applied to the Indian combination of Payas Jain, Deepit Patil and Dev Shroff, the no.5 seeds. Likewise, the Romanian combination of Emir Culpedin, Darius Movileanu and Andrei Tomica topped their group.

However, there were two surprise first places.

Slovakia represented by Filip Delincak and Adam Klaiber remained unbeaten to top their group, the crucial win being a three-two success against the Croatian outfit comprising Ivor Ban, Filip Borovnjak and Lovro Zovko, the no.2 seeds.

Less of a surprise, the Chinese selection of Kuang Li, Gao Shentong and Zeng Beixun headed their group without surrendering a single individual match; the crucial result being the victory over Italy’s Andrea Puppo and Simone Sofia.

Play in the Cadet Boys’ Team event concludes on Saturday 17th February.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Czech Junior & Cadet Open Simon Belik Matej Stach

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