by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Progress as anticipated but there was surprise names who reserved places in the competition proper.
Competing in the groups where first position meant direct entry, Israel’s Michael Tauber, Japan’s Keiya Umemura, Vildan Gadiev and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-Tu, alongside Russia’s Artur Abusev were the surprise names to progress. Notably for Michael Tauber and Vildan Gadiev it was progress despite experiencing defeats.
In his concluding match Michael Tauber was beaten in six games by Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso, the highest rated player in the group (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9). However the previous day he had beaten Germany’s Hils Hohmeier in five games (12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 16-14, 11-9), whilst in seven games Marco Rech Daldosso, the highest rated name, had experienced defeat at the hands of the German, also in seven games (11-5, 8-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
Thus games ratio decided the outcome; it was first place for Michael Tauber (6:5) followed by Marco Rech Daldosso (7:6) and Nils Hohmeier (5:7).
Likewise it was the same scenario for Vildan Gadiev. In his final group phase match he was beaten by Brazil’s Carlos Ishida in seven games (6-11, 12-10, 11.9, 4-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9), having the previous day accounted for Turkey’s Ibrahim Gündüz, the top name in the group, in five games (9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8). Later on the opening day of action Ibrahim Gündüz had overcome Carlos Ishida in a full distance duel (12-14, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6).
Again games ratio decided; first place finished in the hands of Vildan Gadiev (7:5) with Carlos Ishida (7:7) and Ibrahim Gündüz (5:7) the next in line.
Meanwhile, for those who were required to take the long route; surprise first places in the group and then a preliminary round to gain a main draw place, there were successes for Germany’s Kilian Ort, Ukraine’s Yaroslav Zhmudenko and Gleb Shamruk of Belarus alongside the Japanese duo of Yuma Tsuboi and Yuki Hirano.
In the preliminary round, Yuma Tsuboi beat Russia’s Denis Ivonin (11-5, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8), Glen Shamruk accounted for Hungary’s Bence Majoros (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Similarly, Yaroslav Zhmudenko overcame Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei (11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 16-14, 11-7), whilst Kilian Ort defeated Frenchman Benjamin Brossier (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7). Yuki Hirano ended the hopes of Denmark’s Anders Lind (11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4).
The main draw commences on Thursday 12th April.