by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success contrary to status for Xu Haidong; it was the same colleague Nui Guankai and for Japan’s Yukiya Uda.
Surprise opening round winner in opposition to Korea Republic’s top seed, Lim Jonghoon; Japan’s Yukiya Uda maintained his good form; having beaten Lim Jonghoon in four games (11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-5), he repeated the feat one round later to overcome Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.14 seed by a similar margin (7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7).
A hard fought win; for Niu Guankai, the no.18 seed, life was even harder. He needed the full five games to beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.7 seed, only emerging successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (11-6, 10-12, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9).
Defeat for Kanak Jha, Joe Seyfried and Darko Jorgic; in the remaining second round Under 21 Men’s Singles encounters it was success as anticipated. However, life was not without some nervous moments, especially for Korea’s Cho Seungmin, the no.4 seed. Similar to Niu Guankai, he was extended to the very brink by Japan’s Yuki Matsuyama, the no.9 seed; the full five games were needed to secure victory (7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9).
Tense moments; but there was no such drama for the remaining leading names. Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri, the no.2 seed beat Russia’s Artur Abusev, the no.17 seed (11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6); Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.5 seed, accounted for Frenchman Alexandre Cassin, the no.15 seed (11-4, 11-2, 11-6).
Likewise, also from Chinese Taipei, Yang Heng-Wei, the no.8 seed, overcame Zhang Kai of the United States, the no.26 seed (9-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-7), whilst for the host association, Ng Pak Nam flew the flag. The no.6 seed he beat Lai Chi-Chen, like Yang Heng-Wei from Chinese Taipei and the no.26 seed (9-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-7).
At the quarter-final stage in the top half of the draw, Yukiya Yuda meets Ng Pak Nam, Niu Guankai opposes Cho Seungmin; in the lower half it is Xu Haidong against Yang Heng-Wei, Lin Yun-Ju in opposition to Yuto Kizukuri.
The Under 21 Men’s Singles event will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 23rd May.