by Ian Marshall, Editor
Good form in the qualification tournament; equally Russia’s 31 year old Kirill Skachkov had caught the eye as had Poland’s ten years younger Marek Badowski, for both the first round was the end of adventures.
Kirill Skachkov lost to Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.14 seed, in a closely contested seven games duel (12-14, 11-6, 5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7); Marek Badowski was beaten by experience and control. He lost to Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.10 seed (13-15, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10).
Success for Vladimir Samsonov, notably there was also success for Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed and defending champion; he accounted for Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic in a most imperious manner. He prevailed in four straight games (11-9, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4).
Similarly, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed and winner in Olomouc in 2014, made an authoritative start to his campaign, as did Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.5 seed. Marcos Freitas recorded a straight games against Japan’s Yuki Hirano (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4); Jonathan Groth ended the progress of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas (11-2, 11-2, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5).
“I started very well by winning the two opening games quite easily. After those wins I got a bit nervous, last time I also led against him two games to nil and eventually lost in a league match three-two; I let him into the match. Luckily, this time at two games all I was able to increase my level and win. I’m very happy to be through because the last couple of times I have lost in the first round, when I was seeded directly in the main draw.” Jonathan Groth
Opening round success for Jonathan Groth, a round where overall no less than seven of the 16 seeds had fallen.
“I think with this system it’s very tough to be directly in the main draw. I feel like it’s a disadvantage many times, at least for a player like me who is not a top ten player in the world. You get more ranking points by losing the last qualification round than you get from the first main draw round if you are seeded and lose your match. I feel that there should be 64 players in the main draw. At the moment you can play your fourth match and it’s still called qualification. It should be a progressive knock-out. I hope it will come.” Jonathan Groth
Meanwhile, not to be upstaged, Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.9 seed, overcame Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar (11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6); Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura, the no.11 seed, ended the hopes of Russia’s Viacheslav Burov (8-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7).
The second round of the Men’s Singles event will be played in entirety on Friday 24th August.