by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Contrary to expectations, he beat Germany’s Nils Hohmeier, the sixth highest rated player on initial phase duty, the top eight names in the competition do not compete in stage one; they enter proceedings in stage two. An impressive five games win was the order of the day (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4).
“I had told my coach that I would win before the match. Actually, the match was good for me but there were some difficulties. I lost the first game and knew that something was missing; then I got the chance to make neat services, received well and applied many backhand loop and top spins, I think, that helped me a lot. A nice one, I’d say. “ Csaba Andras
Defeat for Nils Hohmeier but there were no such problems for leading trio of names as play commenced. Poland’s Marek Badowski beat Italy’s Jordy Piccolin (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6), Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, nursing a slight injury, accounted for Hungary’s Istvan Molnar (11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8). Likewise, Denmark’s Anders Lind overcame England’s Luke Savill (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4).
“I had to fight for each point. My adversary was strong, so I had to catch his rhythm to deal with his backhand. Also, he played aggressively, so the game was tense. I’m glad about the result.” Deni Kozul
Notable performances and there was one to match the efforts of Bence Csaba. Estonia’s Aleksandr Lusin beat Belgium’s Florian Cnudde (11-3, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8). On the current Under 21 Men’s World Rankings, the name of Aleksandr Lusin does not appear; Florian Cnudde is named at no.77.
“I did not expect to win this match. Three months ago I lost three-nil when we played; so today was a nice surprise for me. I find it hard to cope with his style of play. I think my change of spin helped me to win today.”Aleksandr Lusin
Defeat for Aleksandr Lusin, there was almost a surprise defeat for Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, he had to withstand a spirited recovery from England’s Helshan Weerasinghe (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7).
“The first two games were a piece of cake but then something changed in the mood of the match, I started losing. I lost two next games. Finally, I understood what was needed; I changed my service and played with more quality in the fifth game; that was crucial for me to recover. There were fast rallies; I had to think quickly.” Maciej Kolodziejczyk
Players finishing in first and second places in each of the first stage groups advance to the second stage.