by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The last tournament in the Road to Buenos series, Jann Nayre kept his nerve to cause upset after upset.
He accounted for Jordan’s Khaled Khader, the no.3 seed, by the very narrowest of seven games margins (15-13, 10-12, 13-11, 11-1, 8-11, 8-11, 14-12), before being involved in an equally close encounter at the semi-final stage when facing Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the top seed (9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9).
Hard fought full distance encounters, in the final life was only marginally less fraught. He needed six games to end the hopes of Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish (8-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6).
In the opposite half of the draw, at the quarter-final stage Jacobo Vahnish had beaten, Belgium’s Laurens Devos, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8), prior to ousting Ireland’s Owen Cathcart, the no.6 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8). One round earlier, Owen Cathcart had accounted for Kazakhstan’s Aidos Kenzhigulov, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4).
Meanwhile for Alice Li Sian Chang, the no.4 seed, life was testing but no so dramatic.
She beat Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz, the no.5 seed, in the final, having earlier accounted for Australia’s Michelle Wu, the no.6 seed (12-10, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7) and Kazakhstan’s Zauresh Akasheva, top seed (11-2, 11-2, 118. 6-11, 12-10).
Notably Ozge Yilmaz had reached the final courtesy of success against Iran’s Mahshid Ashtari, the no.3 seed (6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5) and the non-seeded Jannah Maryam Romero of the Philippines (11-5, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4), very much a player in form. At the quarter-final stage she had beaten Canada’s Ivy Liao, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Qualifiers (as on Saturday 9th June)
Africa: Youssef Abdel Aziz (Egypt), Nathael Hamdoun (Tunisia)
Asia: Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan), Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei), Wang Chuqin (China), Cho Daeseong (Korea)
Europe: Ioannis Sgouropoulos (Greece), Vladimir Sidorenko (Russia), Medardas Stankievicius (Lithuania), Vladislav Urdu (Moldova)
Latin America: Nicolas Burgos (Chile), Guillerme Teodoro (Brazil)
North America: Kanak Jha (United States)
Oceania: Nathan Xu (New Zealand)
Africa: Esther Oribamise (Nigeria), Marwa Alhodaby (Egypt)
Asia: Miu Hirano (Japan), Sun Yingsha (China), Jinnipa Sawettabut (Thailand), Su Pei-Ling (Chinese Taipei)
Europe: Lucie Gauthier (France), Mariia Tailakova (Russia), Ning Jing (Azerbaijan), Nadezhda Bogdanova (Belarus)
Latin America: Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico), Bruna Takahashi (Brazil)
North America: Amy Wang (United States)
Oceania: Vong Hui Ling (New Zealand)
Road to Buenos Series (Complete)
Europe: Bastian Rembert (France), Cristian Pletea (Romania)
Africa: Yu Khinhang (Azerbaijan), Amin Ahmadian (Iran)
Latin America: Matteo Mutti (Italy), Yanapong Panagitgun (Thailand)
Asia: Javen Choong (Malaysia), Manav Vikash Thakkar (India)
North America: Kim Song Gun (DPR Korea), Cédric Meissner (Germany)
Oceania: Pang Yew En Koen (Singapore), Jann Nayre (Philippines)
Europe: Andreea Dragoman (Romania), Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong)
Africa: Tatiana Kukulkova (Slovakia), Sabina Surjan (Serbia)
Latin America: Jamila Laurenti (Italy), Goi Rui Xuan (Singapore)
Asia: Choi Haeeun (Korea Republic), Andrea Pavlovic (Croatia)
North America: Pyon Song Gyong (DPR Korea), Franziska Schreiner (Germany)
Oceania: Archana Girish Kamath (India), Alice Li Sian Chang