by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
At the final hurdle of the Men’s Singles event, Matteo Mutti accounted for Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.4 seed (11-6, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7), the semi-final winner in opposition to Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun, the no.2 seed (11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 12.-10, 11-7)
Success in four straight games for Matteo Mutti but earlier, at the quarter-final stage he had been on the very brink of defeat.
After having beaten Paraguay’s David Leon (11-6, 13-11, 11-5, 11-8) he lost the first three games against Kazakhstan’s Aidos Kenzhigulov, the no.8 seed, before emerging successful by the very by the very narrowest of seven games margins (5-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 14-12).
A place in the semi-final booked, he accounted for Hong Kong’s Maurice Kai Ning Chang, the no.12 seed (11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-6) and a player in form. One round earlier at the quarter-final stage Maurice Kai Ning Chang had beaten, Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.3 seed (5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8).
Testing times for Matteo Mutti, it was very similar for Jamila Laurenti in the Women’s Singles event; she required six games to beat Sweden’s Ellen Holmsten, the no.9 seed, in the final (6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9), having earlier beaten Mexico’s Clio Barcenas, the no.8 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6) and Ecuador’s Nathaly Paredes, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).
Notably in the opposite half of the draw, Ellen Holmsten had beaten Kasakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva, the no.2 seed (11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 16-14, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7) and Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, the no.3 seed (3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-.%9
The second knock-out tournament takes place on Sunday 15th April.
Continental Tournaments – Qualifiers (as on Sunday 17th December)
Africa: Youssef Abdel Aziz (Egypt), Nathael Hamdoun (Tunisia)
Asia: Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Wang Chuqin (China), Cho Daeseong (Korea)
Europe: Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Medardas Stankievicius (Lithuania), Vladislav Urdu (Moldova)
Latin America: Nicolas Burgos (Chile), Guillerme Teodoro (Brazil)
North America: Kanak Jha (United States)
Oceania: Nathan Xu (New Zealand)
Africa: Esther Oribamise (Nigeria), Marwa Alhodaby (Egypt)
Asia: Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand), Su Pei-Ling (Chinese Taipei)
Europe: Lucie Gauthier (France), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Ning Jing (Azerbaijan), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus)
Latin America: Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Bruna Takahashi (Brazil)
North America: Amy Wang (United States)
Oceania: Vong Hui Ling (New Zealand)
Road to Buenos Series (as on Saturday 14th April)
Europe: Bastian Rembert (France), Cristian Pletea (Romania)
Africa: Yu Khinhang (Azerbaijan), Amin Ahmadian (Iran)
Latin America: Matteo Mutti (Italy
Europe: Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong)
Africa: Tatiana Kukulkova (Slovakia), Sabina Surjan (Serbia)
Latin America: Jamila Laurenti (Italy)