by Ian Marshall, Editor
Notably in the leading groups, China’s Xiong Mengyang, Poland’s Wang Yimu and Spain’s Norbert Tauler, players with no current world ranking and thus the lowest rated in their respective groups, remained unbeaten to secure first places and thus passports to the main draw.
Xiong Mengyang finished ahead of Portugal’s João Silva, India’s Deepit Patel and Ireland’s Joseph Helson; likewise, Wang Yimu concluded matters with Aadarsh Om Chhetri, Frenchman Enzo Leguistin and Russia’s Aleksandr Kraskovskii following suit. Notably, both Deepit Patel and Aleksandr Kraskovskii commenced play not only as the highest rated players in their respective groups; they were also the third and fourth highest ranked in the whole of the initial stage.
Neither reserved main draw places. Players finishing in first and second positions in each group progress to the knock-out rounds.
Similarly, Norbert Tauler excelled expectations; he beat England’s James Smith (5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 11-3) to secure first place in his group, the consolation for the Englishman, the highest rated in the group, being that it was his only defeat and thus he advanced to the main draw.
Surprise first places amongst the top eight groups and more accrued with José Magalhaes delighting home supporters. He finished ahead of Elwin Huiden of the Netherlands; for the highest rated in the group, Josh Stacey of Wales, it was third place.
Top spot against the odds for José Magalhaes, it was the same for Sweden’s Theo Abrahamsson; he remained unbeaten, the notable success being the win over the leading name in the group, Spain’s Miguel Nuñez (11-9, 11-3, 11-8). It was the Spaniard’s only defeat of the day, thus like James Smith he advanced to the main draw.
Unexpected first places; for India’s Divyansh Srivatava, the eighth highest rated on first day duty it was top spot as anticipated but lower down the order a host of surprise names headed the order.
Frenchmen Martin Baechler, Dylan Chaperon and Antoine Doyen secured first places contrary to predictions as did Denmark’s Lucas Bonderup, Barry Berben of the Netherlands and China’s Tao Yuchang. Most importantly, Portugal’s David Bessa also upset the order to reserve top spot in his group.
The opening two rounds of the Junior Boys’ Singles event will be played later in the day.