11 Mar 2018

The top four names on duty in the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 Belgosstrakh European Under 21 Championships in Minsk completed the second stage of proceedings unbeaten on Friday 9th March.

First position and thus a passport to the main draw was secured. It was a successful day for the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Austria’s Andreas Levenko alongside Romania’s Cristian Pletea in a competition in which players finishing in first and second positions in each of the eight groups advanced to the knock-out stage.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager  

Tomas Polansky concluded the second phase matches by beating England’s Tom Jarvis (11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-6) and Russia’s Artur Abusev (11-3, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6).

“I played against Jarvis a year ago, he beat me back then, so I am proud of how I performed today. I knew from the very beginning that the match was not going to be easy at all; I was focused from the first point to the last.” Tomas Polansky

Impressive from Tomas Polansky, it was the same from Darko Jorgic; he concluded his itinerary by overcoming Germany’s Dennis Klein (12-10, 15-13, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8) and the Czech Republic’s Stanislav Kucera (11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9).

“I won three games quite easily against Dennis Klein but I kept in mind that I had to be 100 percent concentrated on the game, nothing more.” Darko Jorgic

Meanwhile, Andreas Levenko ended the day with wins over Italy’s Carlo Rossi (15-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7) and Sweden’s Malte Moregard to top his group (11-2, 5-11, 9-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-3).

“Everything worked fine except my receives. In my opinion Moregard has the strongest services of all the players here; when I started losing points, I decided to put the ball to the table, this change was the key to success.” Andreas Levenko

Similarly Cristian Pletea beat the Czech Republic’s Jiri Martinko (11-4, 11-7, 14-16, 11-9, 11-5) and Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz (15-13, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6).

“I started the match against Martinko with great confidence and I played well. The third game was a tricky one, with me winning at 16-14, there were lots of lucky points. I was getting angry but my coach calmed me down, and it helped me.” Cristian Pletea.

A successful day for the top four names, it was the same for Poland’s Patryk Zatowka, the no.7 seed and Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.8 seed; they ended the day unbeaten.

However, for Hungary’s Bence Majoros and the host nation’s Aliaksandr Khanin it was not the best of fortunes. Bence Majoros, the no.5 seed, finished in third place in his group behind Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica and Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko. Meanwhile, for Aliaksandr Khanin, the no.6 seed, he did not win a single match; Hungary’s Csaba Andras and Slovenia’s Deni Kozul concluded the day in the top two places.

The seeded players in the Men’s Doubles event have yet to enter the arena.

Qualifiers for Third Stage: Knock-Out

First Places: Tomas Polansky (Czech Republic), Darko Jorgic (Slovenia), Andreas Levenko (Austria), Cristian Pletea (Romania), Andrei Putuntica (Moldova), Csaba Andras (Hungary), Patryk Zatowka (Poland),Rares Sipos (Romania)

Second Places: Artur Abusev (Russia), Stanislav Kucera (Czech Republic), Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Jiri Martinko (Czech Republic), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Deni Kozul (Slovenia), Tobias Hippler (Germany), Marek Badowski (Poland)

Belgosstrakh 2018 Europe Under 21 Tomas Polansky

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