by Ian Marshall, Editor
Undoubtedly pride of place went to 14 year old Hiroto Shinozuka; a player who on the Under 18 Boys’ World Rankings, occupies the no.64 spot.
Second place in his initial stage group behind Hong Kong’s Yiu Kwan To, after recording an opening round success against Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Li-Yang (11-6, 11-6, 11-6), he accounted for China’s Kuang Li, the no.2 seed, the winner earlier in the year of the Cadet Boys’ Singles title in the Czech Republic and also the Junior Boys’ Singles title in Thailand.
Impressively, Hiroto Shinozuka won in three straight games (12-10, 11-5, 11-7).
Second place in the group for Hiroto Shinozuka, it was the same for Haruki Harada, he finished behind China’s Chen Yaxuan but ahead of Hong Kong’s Yu Nok, the no.9 seed. In the main draw, he ousted China’s Shen Feng (9-11, 14-12, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9) and Thailand’s Sitisak Nuchchart (11-7, 11-2, 11-2), a player very much in form. One day earlier in the group phase of proceedings, he had beaten Panama’s Jacobo Vahnish, the top seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-9).
Meanwhile, for Kuo Yu-Liang, he maintained his unbeaten run of success. First place in the group ahead of Japan’s Riko Maede and Hong Kong’s Baldwin Chan Ho Wah, the no.10 seed; thus a direct entry to round two, he beat the latter’s colleague, Yiu Kwan To, the no.6 seed (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12), to reserve his last place.
Three surprise quarter-finalists and there was one more to add to the list. Currently named at no.160 on the Under 15 Boys’ World Rankings; Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Kai-Cheng, after securing first place in his group ahead of Radim Khayyam, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Jacobo Vahnish by the very narrowest of margins (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10).
A second round defeat for Jacobo Vahnish, it was the same for Radim Khayyam, who likewise had finished in second place in his group; he was beaten by China’s Tao Yuchang, the no.5 seed (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5).
Success for Tao Yuchang; in the remaining second round matches, first place in the group gained and thus not required to compete in the opening round, it was success for the seeded players.
Japan’s Kazuki Hamada, the no.4 seed, beat Chinese Taipei’s Wang Chen-You (11-6, 11-6, 11-9), Hong Kong’s Choy Chun Kit, the no.7 seed, overcame Tsai Pang-Yuan, also from Chinese Taipei. Similarly, the host nation’s Chen Yaxuan, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Japan’s Ryoichi (4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 13-11).
At the quarter-final stage Haruki Harada meets Kuo Yu-Liang, Tao Yuchang plays Kazuki Hamada; in the opposite half of the draw, Tsai Kai-Cheng faces Chen Yaxuan, Choy Chun Kit confronts Hiroto Shinozuka.
Play in Taicang concludes on Sunday 8th July.