by Milica Nikolic, European Table Tennis Union Press Officer
In his opening contest he overcame Germany’s Thomas Grininger (11-2, 11-7, 11-6, 13-11); a win as expected but in the corresponding match in the same group, Russia’s Artur Abusev created somewhat of an upset. He accounted for England’s Tom Jarvis (6-11, 4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 7-11).
“I had some difficulties yesterday. Today I feel much more focused and prepared. Jarvis has played the majority of games not playing defenders. I made a good start and was able to continue in that vein.” Artur Abusev.
Success for Tomas Polansky and Artur Abusev; there was also success for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, bronze medallist last year in Sochi. The no.2 seed, he beat Tomasz Kotowski, like Tomas Polansky from the Czech Republic in a fiercely contested encounter (7-11, 11-2, 11-4, 11-5, 5-11, 8-11, 11-5).
“It was my first match, so I am probably not in the nest shape; I hope it will get better in the upcoming matches. I have played against Kotowski many times before and I lost against him. In the last game I was nervous; I had to stay close the table and play point by point.” Darko Jorgic
Success as expected for Darko Jorgic but not in the corresponding contest in the same group. Also from the Czech Republic, Stanislav Kucera beat Germany’s Dennis Klein (8-11, 9-11, 7-11, 8-11).
“I felt comfortable in this match. I beat Klein the last time we meet. He’s not so good against defence, I was safe and made no mistakes.” Stanislav Kucera
Meanwhile, Austria’s Andreas Levenko avenged last year’s defeat in Sochi when he had lost to Ioannis Sgouropoulos; in Minsk he beat the Greek in six games (11:9, 4:11, 11-8, 14-12, 10-12, 11-9).
“The match was tricky. I’ve played against him a couple of times before but I feel like I still need to heat up my play in this tournament. My strategy for this match was to be safe, no surprises today.” Andrea Levenko
In the same group, the Czech Republic’s Jiri Martinko beat Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz (12:10, 12:10, 11:8, 11:6).
“I won two first games by narrow margins, which was very important for me. After that I saw clearly that Martinko was under great pressure, whereas I did well and employed my tactics. Everything was done neatly.” Jiri Martinko
Impressive performance as the day began. It was the same from Romania’s Cristian Pletea who accounted for Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic (11-5, 11-:3, 10-12, 11-5, 11-5).
“I saw how Mladenovic played yesterday, so I knew what to expect; his play style is strange, he is a good athlete. I was focused on the match from the very first point.” Cristian Pletea
Wins as expected but there was a surprise. The leading name in the group Hungary’s Bence Majaros was beaten by Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11). It was a fate that also befell the host nation’s Aliaksandr Khanin. Likewise he lost a Russian opponent; he suffered against Konstantin Chernov Chernov (6.11, 11-5, 14-16, 9-11, 15-13, 8-11).
“Alexander and I know each other pretty well, so we both knew it would not be an easy game. I won the first game quite decisively, but it was harder to make the lead in the rest of the match.” Konstantin Chernov
Also, in the same group as Konstantin Chernov, there was another upset, Hungary’s Csaba Andras beat Slovenia’s Deni Kozul (11-9, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8).
“I am happy with how it all went. I think my rival was nervous, he made mistakes and I had the right tactics. In the last game I became nervous but I managed to finish successful.” Csaba Andras
Noteworthy performances, it was the same from Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica against Estonia’s Aleksandr Usin (11-4, 1-:8, 11-2, 5-11, 11-9), as it was from Poland’s Patryk Zatowka in opposition to Turkey’s Abdullah Yingeler (12-10, 7-11, 1-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6). Similarly Romania’s Rares Sipos impressed when facing Konstantinos Angelakis of Greece (11-7, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8).
“I did not expect to win because a few weeks ago I was ill. Recently I have only played in the Romanian National Championships.” Rares Sipos
In the remaining Men’s Singles contests as play commenced in stage two, Denmark’s Anders Lind and Germany’s Tobias Hippler emerged successful.
Anders Lind beat Marek Badowski (11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9).
“I had not the best feeling concerning this match, it turned out to be very hard indeed. My tactics were perfect but I missed key shots. I’ve played Badowski two times before this encounter and I won once only,” Anders Lind
Hard fought success, it was different from Tobias Hippler; controlling proceedings from the start her overcame Austria’s Maicej Kolodziejczyk (11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).
“Actually, yesterday’s match with Badowski was more difficult for me than today’s one. I have played against Kolodziejczyk in juniors, so I knew what to expect. Also, it’s much easier to win when you lead and your adversary becomes stressed.” Tobias Hippler
The second stage concludes later in the day.