by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
After recovering from a two games to nil deficit and being on the precipice of defeat in the third game, Tomas Kopanyi recovered from the depths of despair to beat Russia’s Nikita Artemenko by the very narrowest of five games margins (9-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11-6, 15-13).
Success in his opening contest; on his next visit to the table, rather more comfortably, he accounted for the host nation’s Rafael de las Heras, the leading name in the group. A four games victory margin was the order of the day (11-5, 12-10, 11-13, 11-5).
Testing times for Tomas Kopanyi; for Chen Shuainan, life was very different. He recorded straight games wins on both visits to the table. In his opening contest he beat Spain’s Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-5, 11-3, 11-5), prior to reserving first place in the group by overcoming Russia’s Andrey Semenov (11-7, 11-6, 11-7).
Defeats for two names who headed the list at the start of the day and there was a reverse for one more;
Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chun-Hsiang was beaten by Romania’s Bogdan Singeorzan (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9) but the door to first place in the group remains open. Earlier in the day Bogdan Singeorzan had experienced defeat at the hands of Spain’s Daniel Palacios (6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
Surprises but not where the very elite names were concerned, Australia’s Lin Xuqi and Sweden’s Oscar Perman both ended the day unbeaten as did Russia’s Artur Abusev and Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chun-Yu.
Players finishing in first places in each of the 14 groups plus two “Lucky Losers” drawn at random from the second placed players, join the 16 seeded players in the main draw.