by Ian Marshall, Editor
The no.9 seed, the highest rated player in the initial phase of proceedings, the 22 year old from Rio de Janeiro was beaten in five games by the most experienced of all, the player 20 years his senior; he experienced defeat at the hands of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.15 seed (10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 14-12, 13-11).
“Today was the first time that I’d played against Hugo. I already knew that he’s a very, very strong player considering how highly ranked he is. It was my first match of the tournament, so I didn’t really know what to expect. At the same time, I knew that Hugo had lost earlier. He knew that he’d have to beat me in order to reach the last 16, so he was probably under a bit of pressure. I think that he had his chances to win at least two or three games, so it was a close contest.
I just want to win my matches and go as far as possible in this tournament. I’m not really looking at who I’m playing against. You never know if your opponent is going to have an off day or not. They are all strong players and there are no easy matches, so you always have to fight and focus hard.” Vladimir Samsonov
The result means that for Hugo Calderano it is the end of the road. It also means that France is guaranteed a both representatives in the first round; as the second series of matches in the group stage of proceedings came to a close, Simon Gauzy, the no.10 seed, secured first place in his group. He recovered from a three games to nil deficit to beat Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.14 seed, in seven games (7-11, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5); earlier he had accounted for Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.18 seed (11-6, 12-10, 13-11, 11-4).
“I kept believing in myself. I think that’s the key in these kind of moments. He was playing well. I couldn’t find any service to disturb him. I kept believing, as did the crowd and my coach Patrick. I changed my service and that was really important. I’ll try to keep this momentum going into the weekend, show the fighting spirit I had today and see what happens. It’s not so often to play such a big event in your home country so I’m enjoying every moment.” Simon Gauzy
Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.17 seed, who had earlier beaten Hugo Calderano (11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8), now faces Vladimir Samsonov in the one remaining match in the group; whatever the outcome, with players finishing in first and second places in each group advancing to the knock-out rounds, the future of both is assured.
Top spot for Simon Gauzy; likewise Korea Republic’s Jang Sangeun, the no.11 seed and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.12 seed, reserved first places.
After accounting for Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.19 seed (11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4), Jeong Sangeun caused Brazil more pain by beating Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.16 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7); in a rather closer contest Jonathan Groth accounted for Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.13 seed (4-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8), having earlier in the day beaten Australia’s Heming Hu, the no.20 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4).
“The atmosphere here is really very cool, when it is a full crowd it is always nice to play. In the fifth game, I think I forgot to play. I was thinking too much about the score. I was leading 3-1 and at this level, if you are not on 100 per cent you will lose directly. I’m very happy to be in the main draw. I just want to give everything and we the result after.” Jonathan Groth
One series of matches in the initial phase of proceedings remains.