by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Impressively, Lam Siu Hang beat Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab (10-12, 11-4, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5). It was a win as anticipated; Lam Siu Hang was the no.3 seed, Mohammed Abdulwahhab had been required to compete in the qualification tournament and, in fact, he was a “Lucky Loser”. He had finished in second place in his group behind Russia’s Petr Fedotov.
Conversely, the successes recorded by Li Hon Ming and Kwan Man Ho were somewhat unexpected; like Mohammed Abdulwahhab both had been required to compete in the qualification tournament. Li Hon Ming beat Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes (11-6, 11-6, 11-3, 12-10), Kwan Man Ho by the very narrowest of margins ousted Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9).
Two upsets, in fact in the lower half of the draw in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, more qualifiers succeeded, nine in total, than those who had received direct entry.
The biggest upset was that caused by Austria’s Simon Pfeffer, he beat Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4). Meanwhile, Maksim Kiselev accounted for Spain’s Carlos Machado, the no.32 seed (11-3, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6), Portugal’s Diogo Chen defeated Bulgaria’s Philipp Floritz, the no.27 seed (11-13, 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-1).
Problems for Spain with the defeat of Carlos Maxhado but there was success, Endika Diaz flew the nation’s flag; in the first round of the Men’s Singles event he upset the order of merit by beating Luxembourg’s Erik Glod, the no.21 seed (9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7).
Likewise, both Italy’s Chen Shuainan and Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chun-Yu ended the hopes of most worthy names. Chen Shuainan beat Pavel Platonov of Belarus (14-12, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8): Tsai Chun-Yu ended the aspirations of Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez (11-7, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6).
First round exits for nine seeded players in the lower of the draw; however for Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.2 seed and Japaa’s Kazuhiro Yoshimura, the no.7 seed, there were no such troubles. Robert Gardos beat Slovakia’s Martin Guman (15-13, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6); Kasuhiro Yushimira halted the advance of Russia’s Petr Fedotov but it was close, very close, he needed the full seven games to secure victory only emerging successful by the very narrowest of margins (9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9).
The second round of the Men’s Singles event continues later in the day.