by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The top seeds, having accounted for the Polish trio of Przemyslaw Walaszek, Lukasz Wachowiak and Kamil Dziadek, the no.5 seeds, by three matches to nil at the semi-final stage; a three-one win against the Spain ‘A’ Team outfit comprising Alberto Lillo, Francisco Miguel Ruiz and Javier Soria, the no.2 seeds, was the verdict in the final.
Moreover, the mainstay of the success was Ioannis Sgouropoulos. In the opening match of the encounter he beat Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6), before in the fourth contest defeating Alberto Lillo (11-4, 11-6, 11-8) to bring matters to a conclusion.
Sandwiched in between, Aoto Asazu had experienced defeat at the hands of Alberto Lillo (5-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6), before Takeru Kashiwa had overcome Javier Soria (11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10) to set the scene for Ioannis Sgouropoulos to complete matters. He duly obliged.
Defeat in the final for Spain; earlier in the day it had almost been a semi-final exit when facing the Belgian trio comprising Laurens Devos, Olav Kosolosky and Quentin Jacques. A dull distance three-two verdict was the end result in favour of Spain with Laurens Devos proving thorn in the side.
He beat both Alberto Lillo (14-12, 11-9, 7-11, 13-11) and Francisco Miguel Ruiz (11-2, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6) but it was not sufficient to steer Belgium to the final, despite matters looking favourable as the crucial fifth and deciding match of the fixture commenced. Olav Kosolosky won the first two games against Alberto Lillo, before losing the next three (3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7) to give Spain the verdict.
Attention now turns to Metz the 2018 French Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 25th April.