20 Sep 2018

The first hurdle negotiated but for Frenchman, Emmanuel Lebesson, the defending champion, in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante, Spain on Thursday 20th September, it proved a very exacting first hurdle.

He prevailed and warranted his no.15 seeded position but he had to withstand a brave recovery from Croatian qualifier, Frane Kojic, before eventually emerging successful in a full distance contest (11-8, 11-4, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Success for Emmanuel Lebesson and for the leading names in the lower half of the Men’s Singles event there were also positive starts.

Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.2 seed, beat Belgium’s Robin Devos (11-9, 11-3, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10); Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed, overcame the Czech Republic’s Tomas Tregler (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8). Likewise, Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.6 seed, accounted for Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6), Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Austria’s Andreas Levenko (11-3, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5).

Also, for the most experienced of all there was a first round win; Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.9 seed proved too consistent for Italy’s Mihai Bobocica (11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10).

Wins as predicted but as play in the lower half of the draw advanced there were upsets.

Notably, Finland’s Benedek Olah beat Frenchman Tristan Flore, the no.19 seed (11-3, 2-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 14-12), Russia’s Alexander Shibaev prevailed against Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.21 seed (5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-13, 11-2, 11-6). Similarly, Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho overcame Poland’s Jakub Dyjas, the no.27 seed and bronze medallist two years ago in Budapest (13-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Meanwhile, not to be overshadowed and very much a young man on whom eyes are focused, Sweden’s 16 year old Truls Moregard ended the ambitions of the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek (14-12, 11-6, 13-11, 11-13, 11-7).

The second round of the Men’s Singles event will be played in entirety on Friday 21st September.

2018 Liebherr European Championships Emmanuel Lebesson

No results found.