24 Oct 2018

Places in the Men's Singles main draw at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open at stake; at the close of play on the opening day of proceedings, Tuesday 23rd October, the ambitions of the host nation were very much alive.

Martin Allegro and Laurens Devos both negotiated the second preliminary round as did Florian Cnudde, Nicolas Devos and Gaeten Swartenbrouckx.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Pride of place went to Florian Cnudde, Nicolas Devos and Gaeten Swartenbrouckx; all caused upsets.

Listed at no.788 on the current Men’s World Rankings, Florian Cnudde beat Austria’s Thomas Grininger, named at no.360 (11-7, 12-14, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8); likewise, Gaeten Swartenbrouckx, ranked no.964 ousted Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez rated at no.200 (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Meanwhile, not to be left out Nicolas Degros, who stands at no.735, withstood a brave Spanish recovery to eventually overcame Miguel Vilchez (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 1-11, 8-11, 3-11, 11-3); a player who in the global order of merit occupies the no.338 spot

“It was a strange match against Vilchez from Spain. I won three games fairly easy and then I let him come back. How could this happen? He changed his serve and I couldn’t win many points, my confidence dropped. In the seventh game I needed a good start. I regained my confidence. I am very happy that I won my two matches today. I am here to gain experience and hope to win as much matches as possible.” Nicolas Degros

A most worthy performance from one Belgian teenager, Nicolas Degros is 15 years old; there was also a success of note from another of the same generation, 18 years old, Laurens Devos. He beat Austria’s David Serdaroglu (10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 14-12, 11-9) to keep his aspirations intact.

“The Austrian Serdaroglu is a good player. I had I never played against him. My expectations were not very high but I managed to find my rhythm. Some games were very tight but I stayed calm and got the victory I needed. My goal now is to reach the main draw.” Laurens Devos

Success for Laurens Devos as anticipated, it was the same from Martin Allegro, he accounted for Switzerland’s Yoan Rebetez (11-4, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4).

Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 24th October.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Laurens Devos Florian Cnudde Martin Allegro Nicolas Devos Gaeten Swartenbrouckx.

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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