by Ian Marshall, Editor
Both Lin Yun-Ju, the no.4 seed and Wang Chuqin, the no.6 seed had remained unbeaten during their group phase matches; in the opening round, both continued their winning ways.
Lin Yun-Ju beat Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, the no.14 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5); in a rather more testing encounter, Wang Chuqin recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome fellow left hander, Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko (5-11, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 11-8, 11-2).
Rather differently, Pang Yew En Koen, the no.10 seed, had finished in second position in his group, losing to Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece, the no.8 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9). In the opening round Pang Yew En Koen faced the man in form; he confronted Iran’s hitherto unbeaten Amin Ahmadian, the no.12 seed, the young man who had topped his group notably beating India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.5 seed (11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8).
In the group stage there was no stopping Amin Ahmadian; in the opening round he was stopped in abrupt fashion; Pang Yew En Koen recorded a straight games win (12-10, 12-10, 11-9, 11-2).
“We played against each other earlier in March and I lost to him then. Today, I had my mind set at the right place. I tried to put pressure on him instead of having him putting the pressure on me. My goal here was to make the top eight, now I have made it, I’m really happy with my performance.” Pang Yew En Koen
Success for Lin Yun-Ju, Pang Yew En Koen and Wang Chuqin as ranking advised; it was the same in the remaining first round Men’s Singles engagements.
Notably, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the top seed, beat Manav Vikash Thakkar (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
“Thakkar played really well in the first games, he made few mistakes, I had many unforced errors on the other hand. After that, I had to quickly adjust and reduce my errors made in order to win.” Tomokazu Harimoto
Also, in the top half of the draw, Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.9 seed, accounted for Italy’s Leonardo Mutti, the no.15 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-3); Ioannis Sgouroplous, the no.8 seed, halted French progress; he ended the aspirations of Bastien Rembert, the no.11 seed (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8).
Meanwhile, in the lower half of the draw, Sweden’s Truls Moregard, the no.3 seed, prevailed against Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz, the no.7 seed (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7); Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.2 seed, overcame Brazil’s Guillerme Teodoro (12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9).
“It was a very close match even though it was four-one, each game was very close. Guilherme is a real fighter so I knew it was going to be a hard match. I was good in the serve and receive; in the beginning of the match, I was more nervous and more passive but as the match went on I became more confident; this allowed me to get the first attack after the good receive. I’m happy that I won and I’m ready for the quarter-finals!” Kanak Jha
At the quarter-final stage Tomokazu Harimoto meets Cristian Pletea, Ioannis Sgouropoulos plays Lin Yun-Ju; in the opposite half of the draw it is Truls Moregard versus Wang Chuqin, Pang Yew En Koen in opposition to Kanak Jha.
The matches will be played later in the day.