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.