by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Top names in the Men’s Singles event are India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczk; both will be hoping for better fortunes than in the immediately preceding 2018 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open staged in the very same venue.
A second round exit was the order of the day; Manav Vikash Thakkar lost to Serbia’s Dimitrije Levajac (13-11, 11-9, 6-11, 14-16, 14-12, 11-8, 14-12); Maciej Kolodziejczk was beaten by India’s Payas Jain (7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5).
Similarly for Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, also listed amongst the leading names, he is fourth in the order of merit, it was a second round exit; he was beaten by Singapore’s Pang Yee En Koen (12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9).
All three are seeking an improvement; somewhat differently, Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.3 seed, is aiming for a repeat performance. He won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the 2018 Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open beating India’s Manush Utpalbhai Shah in the final (11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9).
It is a similar situation for Serbia’s Sabina Surjan in the Women’s Singles event, she is the top seed in the Youth Olympic Games qualifier; she won the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open. Notably in the final she beat Croatia’s Andrea Pavlovic, (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11); the Croatian is the no.3 seed at the Youth Olympic Games qualifier.
Sandwiched in between is India’s Archana Girish Kamath, the no.2 seed but perhaps not in the very best of form; at the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open, she suffered an opening round exit. She was beaten by Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova (14-12, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Completing the top four names in the Women’s Singles event is Finland’s Annika Lundström, she did not compete in the ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament in Tunisia, she played in Italy. She reached the third round of the Junior Girls’ Singles event losing to Portugal’s Raquel Martins (11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8).
A total of 25 players will compete in the Men’s Singles event, 19 in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition; throughout the whole procedure involving the Youth Olympic Games, a National Olympic Committee may be represented by only one man and one woman.
Players must be born between Saturday 1st January 2000 and Wednesday 31st December 2003.