13 Nov 2018

Six years ago an Under 21 Men’s Singles quarter-finalist, Russia’s Arseniy Gusev emerged the first player to book his place in the main draw of the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk, following success on Tuesday 13th November.

After having accounted for the host nation’s Andrei Labanu (11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8); he caused somewhat of an upset by beating India’s Raj Mondal (11-3, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6). Presently Raj Mondal is listed at no.291 on the World Rankings, Arseniy Gusev has no status.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Arseniy Gusev appeared in group no.18; players who finish in first position in group no.1 to group no.21, advance directly to the main draw, those in group no.22 to no.43 must compete in a preliminary round.

“In this match I mostly struggled with myself. Mondal played nervously, which was an advantage for me to some extent but many mistakes were present on my side, too. I feel I could have done better.” Arseniy Gusev

First place in the group secured; lower down the list it was the same for China’s Liu Jia, Shen Zhesong, Sun Zheng and Xy Hengrui, as it was for Germany’s Qiu Lang and Japan’s Shogo Tahara. All defied the odds but none is guaranteed a place in the main draw, all must compete in the preliminary round.

Meanwhile, for the leading names on duty in the initial phase of play, it was one match played, one success.

Russia’s Alexander Shibaev beat the host nation’s Kirill Barababov (11-3, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8), also from Russia Alexey Liventsov overcame Poland’s Kacper Petas, whilst Sweden’s Elias Ranefur, similarly caused Poland problems. He beat Przemyslaw Walaszek (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7). India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar received a walk-over when due to face Senegal’s absent Ibrahima Diaw.

Play in the qualification stage of the Men’s Singles event concludes on Wednesday 14th November.

Challenge Series 2018 Belarus Open Arseniy Gusev

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belarus Open