Tournaments

31 Mar 2018

The journey started some three days ago in the qualification tournament; for Korea’s Kim Minhyeok, Russia’s Artur Abusev and Hong Kong’s Li Hon Ming that journey continued at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Guadalajara on Saturday 31st March.

All three caused upsets to book their places in the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event; for all it is very much unexplored territory.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Puiblications Manager

Kim Minhyeok caused the biggest surprise, he beat Ng Pak Nam, the no.5 seeds and like Li Hon Ming from Hong Kong; most impressively Kim Minyheok emerged successful in four straight games (11-7, 11-5, 11-2, 11-8).

A most impressive performance from the 21 year old Korean; it was the same from Artur Abusev who recorded an equally meritorious win. He beat Frenchman, Abdel-Kader Salifou, the no.6 seed with just the loss of a single game (11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4). Similarly, Li Hon Ming was not to be upstaged; likewise in four games he ended the hopes of fellow qualifier, Austria’s Simon Pfeffer (11-4, 11-6, 2-11, 12-10, 13-11).

Wins against the odds, in the remaining third round Men’s Singles contests, matters progressed according to status.

In the top half of the draw Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama, the no.11 seed, ended the adventures of Belgium’s Lauric Jean, the no.26 seed (5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8) and victor one day earlier over top seed, Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit (11-8, 14-12, 13-11, 4-11. 12-10). Similarly, Cho Seungmin, the no.4 seed, added to Korean success, he reserve his last four place by ousting Moldavian qualifier Andrei Putintica (11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in the lower half of the draw in addition to Li Hon Ming, there were wins for Austria’s Robert Gardos, Iran’s Nima Alamian and Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy.

Robert Gardos, the no.2 seed, beat Japan’s Asuka Machi, the no.24 seed (10-12, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3); Nima Alamian, the no.9 seed, accounted for Diogo Carvalho in what proved the closest contest of the round, the Portuguese qualifier extended the Iranian to the limit (9-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10).

Tense times for Nima Alamian; less so for Vitory Ishiy, the no.20 seed, likewise he ended the hopes of a player from Portugal who had been required to qualify; he accounted for Diogo Chen in straight games (11-5, 11-4, 12-10, 11-9).

At the quarter-final stage Yuki Matsuyama meets Kim Minhyeok, Artur Abusev opposes Cho Seungmin; in the opposite half of the draw it is Nima Alaminian versus Vitor Ishiy, Li Hon Ming in opposition to Robert Gardos.

The matches will be played later on the evening.

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Challenge Series 2018 Spanish Open Kim Minhyeok Artur Abusev Li Hon Ming
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