20 Apr 2018

Winner in Varazdin at the 2016 Croatia Junior and Cadet Open; Ioannis Sgouroplous of Greece added a second ITTF World Junior Circuit Boys’ Singles title to his credit on Thursday 19th April in the town of Spa.

The top seed, he emerged successful at the 2018 Belgian Junior and Cadet Open; furthermore, he prevailed in some style, at no stage of proceedings was he extended the full distance.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

In the latter stages on the second day of play, he beat Belgium’s Nicolas Degros, the no.17 seed (11-7, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7, prior to accounting for Frenchman Florian Bourrasaud, the no.24 seed (11-9, 11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10) and Norway’s Borgar Haug, the no.30 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) to reserve his place in the semi-finals where the good form continued.

Borgar Haug was most certainly a surprise semi-finalist; notably in round two he had beaten Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8), prior to accounting for Jules Cavaille of France, the no.22 seed (11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-5), the second round winner in opposition to Japan’s Takeru Kashikwa, the no.3 seed (11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-5).

Equally a surprise name greeted Ioannis Sgouroplous in the final; he confronted Poland’s Przemyslav Walaszek, the no.14 seed, a five games outcome being the order of play (11-3, 10-12, 11-1, 14-12, 11-2).

Impressively, en route to the final, on the second day of play, Przemyslav Walaszek had beaten Frenchman Dorian Zheng, the no.31 seed (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6), very much a player in form; one day earlier he had secured first place in his group by overcoming José Pedro Francisco in a most authoritative manner (11-4, 11-3, 11-6).

A successful start to the day, Przemyslav Walaszek maintained his good form to beat Bilal Hamache, the no.28 seed and also from France (11-9, 4-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11), prior to reserving his place in the final by overcoming Spain’s Alberto Lillo, the no.12 seed and without doubt a player who was confident. One round earlier the Spaniard had beaten Japan’s Aoto Asazu, the no.3 seed (11-9, 5-11, 1-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-5).

Alas for Aoto Asazu, an early Junior Boys’ Singles exit; not in the Junior Boys’ Doubles where he partnered Takeru Kashiwa to success; at the final hurdle the pair beat Borgar Haug and Ioannis Sgouroplous (14-12, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5).

Play now continues with the Junior Boys’ Team and Junior Girls’ Team events.

World Junior Circuit 2018 Belgium Junior & Cadet Open Ioannis Sgouropoulos

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