30 Oct 2018

Winner earlier this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit on home soil and in Jordan; Chinese Taipei's Li Hsin-Yang emerged the player to cause the biggest upset in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open in De Haan on Thursday 25th October.

The 18 year old who had been required to compete in the immediately preceding qualification tournament, accounted for Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.2 seed. He prevailed in a tension packed seven games encounter decided by the very minimal margin (6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Farewell to Kirill Gerassimenko and it was farewell to another highly rated name in a contest that had an even more dramatic finish, Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam, the no.9 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Takeru Kashiwa (9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 4-11, 11-9, 15-13).

Defeats for seeded players and there were more but the level of surprise mild by comparison. Hungary’s Bence Majoros, the no.18 seed, lost to Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun (5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11); likewise Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus, the no.17 seed, suffered at the hands of Germany’s Gerritt Engemann (11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 13-11).

Meanwhile, for Chile, it was not the best of times; Felipe Olivares, the no.22 seed, lost to England’s Andrew Baggaley (8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9), Gustavo Gomez, the no.30 seed, was beaten by Frenchman, Joe Seyfried (9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3).

Surprise outcomes; however, of the leading names in the lower half of the draw, Germany’s Benedikt Duda, the no.3 seed, Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin, the no.5 seed and most importantly from a host nation point of view, Cédric Nuytinck, the no.8 seed, stood firm.

Benedikt Duda beat Spain’s Carlos Franco (8-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4), Cho Seungmin ended the hopes harboured by Sweden’s Simon Ardvisson of repeating his feat of four years earlier when he had reached the final; a straight games verdict was the outcome (11-4, 11-8, 11-2, 11-5). Meanwhile, Cédric Nuytinck accounted for Czech Republic’s Patrik Klos but it was a close call; he needed the full seven games (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-6).

The second round of the Men’s Singles event will be played later in the day.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Li Hsin-Yang

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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