06 Apr 2018

Thursday 5th April proved to be a positive day for players representing the Slovak Republic in the Men's Singles event in Otocec with Lubomir Pistej and Wang Yang both qualifying for the semi-finals of the 2018 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open.

by Simon Daish

In the evening session of play Lubomir Pistej proved too strong for opponent Chiang Hung-Chieh, prevailing against the Chinese Taipei player without dropping a single game (11-6, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5).

However, it was Lubomir Pistej’s fellow countryman who earned what was surely the shock of the quarter-finals; the 16th seeded competitor knocked second seed Gustavo Tsuboi out of the proceedings (14-12, 10-12, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 12-14, 11-1) to set up an all-Slovak semi-final in the lower half of the draw.

Liao Cheng-Ting experienced a major scare in his last eight encounter with no.12 seed Eric Jouti, who pushed the top seeded player right down to the wire in an exciting battle between the Chinese Taipei and Brazilian contestants (10-12, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8).

Next up for Liao Cheng-Ting is an unpredictable tie with Japan’s Mizuki Oikawa; he saw off up-and-coming Romanian player Cristian Pletea by a convincing four games to nil score-line in the quarter-finals (1-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8) and will approach his penultimate round tie with plenty of confidence.

The semi-finals match between Liao Cheng-Ting and Mizuki Oikawa is scheduled to begin at 11.30am on Friday 6th April and will be followed by Lubomir Pistej and Wang Yang’s head-to-head battle to represent the Slovak Republic in the final.

Challenge Series 2018 Slovenia Open Liao Cheng-Ting Mizuki Oikawa Lubomir Pistej Wang Yang

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