by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The no.5 seed, he was beaten by Chinese Taipei qualifier, Chin Mao-Cheng (13-15, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10, 11-1).
Defeat for India but as play progressed in the lower half of the draw in the first round of the Men’s Singles event, there was success for the south Asian nation; the player to attract the most attention being 18 year old Manav Vikash Thakkar.
Required to compete in the qualification tournament, the teenager, who recently qualified for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, accounted for Frenchman, Andrea Landrieu, the no.10 seed (11-3, 11-9, 3-11, 5-11, 11-7, 14-16, 11-7).
“It was a very good match. I think he is a very good player and I played very well. My coach had some good strategies that worked well for me in this match. I have been here since the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers. I played in that as well as the Junior and Cadet Open, now the Thailand Open. I hope that I can continue to perform well here.” Manav Vikash Thakkar
Success against the odds for Manav Vikash Thakkar; for compatriot Sathiyan Gnanasekaran it was success according to expectations, the no.2 seed, he overcame Malaysia’s Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal (11-8, 11-4, 11-8, 11-2).
Somewhat surprise wins for Chin Mao-Cheng and Manav Vikash Thakkar; it was the same for Korea’s Kim Daewoo and Choi Inhyeok, as it was for Frenchman Bastien Rembert and Japan’s Hibiki Tazoe.
All required to qualify, Kim Daewoo beat Hong Kong’s Li Hon Ming, the no.22 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5), Choi Inheok accounted for Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.28 seed (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5).
Similarly, Bastien Rembert overcame Sweden’s Hampus Soderlund, the no.27 seed (8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 5-11, 14-16, 11-9, 11-3); Hibiki Tazoe ended the hopes of Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay, the no.14 seed (11-13, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5).
Imposing from Hibiki Tazoe, it was the same from colleagues Masataka Morizono and Kenta Tazoe. Masataka Morizono, the no.3 seed, beat Korea’s Seo Junghwa (11-5, 11-6, 11-3, 11-9); Kenta Tazoe, the no.6 seed, ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chun-Hsiang (11-6, 11-7, 11-2, 11-4).
Play in the second round of the Men’s Singles event will be staged later in the day.