by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, for three names of note there were problems, surprise defeats.
Both Poland’s Marek Badowski and Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz had to settle for second places in their respective groups. Marek Badowski was beaten by Germany’s Tobias Hippler (10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9), Ibrahim Gündüz suffered at the hands of Italy’s Carlos Rossi in a closely contested seven games duel (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 14-12, 5-11, 4-11, 11-8).
Tobias Hippler and Carlo Rossi duly remained unbeaten to secure first places in the respective groups.
Furthermore, the defeats for Marek Badowski and Ibrahim Gündüz were not terminal, the door is still open. Players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the second stage of proceedings.
A second chance but that is not the situation for Germany’s Nils Hohmeier. He had to settle for third place and thus elimination. Disappointment, after losing to Hungary’s Csaba Andras in five games (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4), he was beaten by the narrowest of seven games margins when facing Moldova’s Andrei Putintica (11-5, 15-13, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 13-15, 12-10).
Play continues in Minsk with the second group phase of proceedings, players finishing in first and second places in each group advance the main draw. The main draw is based on the knock-out format, no second chances.