Tournaments

12 Apr 2018

Germany’s Ricardo Walther and Benedikt Duda, the respective top two seeds in the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open in Zagreb duly booked their places in the third round of proceedings by emerging successful on Thursday 12th April.

It was the same for Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.6 seed and defending champion but of the leading names on duty they were very much alone.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

The most notable casualty was the host nation’s Andrej Gacina, the no.4 seed, he suffered an opening round defeat, he was beaten by Frenchman Enzo Angles (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) who in the very next round suffered at the hands of fellow Slovenia qualifier Deni Kozul (11-7, 10-12, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9).

“I played badly; my opponent was much better today and that was it. I do not have much to add.” Andrej Gacina

Likewise it was a first round defeat for Tristan Flore, the no.3 seed and like Enzo Angles from France, as it was for Deni Kozul’s compatriot, Darko Jorgic, the no.7 seed and Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.8 seed.

Darko Jorgic was beaten by the Dominican Republic’s Wu Jiaji (8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9) who duly maintained his form to reserve a third round place by overcoming Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6). Similarly, Kanak Jha lost to a player in form. He was beaten by Germany’s Kilian Ort (12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10) who, in the next round, overcame Belgium’s Florent Lambiet (11-5, 11-2, 5-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-5).

Opening round defeats, for Yuto Kizukuri, the no.5 seed, it was farewell in round two, he suffered at the hands of colleague, Kenji Matsudaira, the highest ranked player in the qualification tournament, he was beaten in seven games (11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5).

Meanwhile for Ricardo Walther, he reserved his third round place courtesy of success against Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes (11-5, 11-2, 11-8, 11-3); similarly at the same stage in round two, Benedikt Duda accounted for Frenchman Alexandre Robinot (117, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5), whilst Panagios Gionis halted the progress of Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei (9-11, 14-12, 11-2, 11-3, 11-8).

The third round and quarter-final matches in the Men’s Singles event will be played on Friday 13th April.

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2018 Croatia Open Andrej Gacina
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