28 Mar 2018

The lowest rated players in their respective groups in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament that precedes the 2018 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Guadalajara, eight players upset the odds as play progressed on the late morning of Wednesday 28th March.

Russia’s Ilya Zhidkov and Maksim Kiselev, alongside Australia’s Lim Hyunjo, Romania’s Bogdan Singeorzan and India’s Raj Mondal all excelled as did Germany’s Tobias Hippler in addition to the host nation’s Borja Sanchez and Francisco Miguel Ruiz.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
All overcame those of higher status.

Ilya Zhidkov beat Spain’s Sergei Grau (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8), Maksim Kiselev accounted for Canada’s Matthew Lehman (12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 13-11). Success for Russia but there was defeat; Lin Hyunjo defeated Andrey Semonov (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-1).

Meanwhile, in equally impressive form, Tobias Hippler beat Slovakia’s Tomas Kopanyi (11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5), whilst Bogdan Singeorzan and Raj Mondal, both overcame host nation adversaries. Bogdan Singeorzan accounted for Jon Ander Guerricabeita (7-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5), Raj Mondal proved too strong for Rafael de Las Heras (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Defeats for Spanish players but they did enjoy notable success; Borja Sanchez beat Puerto Rico’s Gabriel Perez (11-13, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3), Francisco Miguel Ruiz accounted for Canada’s Lester Lee (11-9, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8).

Otherwise, it was very progress as status advised, the one player to experience difficulties being Korea’s An Jaehyun, a player in form. The previous week at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour German Open in Bremen, in the qualification tournament, he had topped his group, before progressing through the preliminary rounds to secure a main draw place. It there, the host nation’s Timo Boll ended progress. In his opening Men’s Singles match in Guadalajara, he needed the full seven games to beat Russia’s Aleksandr Tiutriumov, only succeeding by the very narrowest of decisions (11-7, 11-2, 2-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Players finishing in first places in each of the 28 groups plus four “Lucky Losers” drawn at random from the send placed players join the 32 seeds in the main draw.

Challenge Series 2018 Spanish Open Tobias Hippler Francisco Miguel Ruiz Raj Mondal Maksim Kiselev Lim Hyunjo Ilya Zhidkov Borja Sanchez Bogdan Singeorzan

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