07 Dec 2018

The leading names, players very much in contention for places on the podium when play concludes, all made positive starts to their Boys’ Singles campaigns on Friday 7th December at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo, Australia.

Kanak Jha of the United States and India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar alongside China’s Xu Haidong and Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece all negotiated the opening round without the loss of a single game.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Kanak Jha, the top seed, beat Russia’s Maksim Grebnev (11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-1), Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.2 seed, accounted for Canada’s Jeremy Hazin (11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5).

Meanwhile, Xu Haidong, the no.3 seed and Ioannis Sgouropoulos, the no.5 seed, dented the hopes of Chinese Taipei; Xu Haidong overcame Lin Yung-Chih (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8), Ioannis Sgouropoulos accounted for Tai Ming-Wei (11-9, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4).

Wins as anticipated but there was one first round upset and close calls. Frenchman, Bastien Rembert, the no.15 seed, was beaten by Iran’s Amin Ahmadian in seven games (7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 13-15, 7-11, 11-8), by a similar margin both Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang, the no.14 seed and Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.6 seed, emerged successful. Li Hsin-Ying eventually overcame Belgium’s Robin Devos (5-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 5-11, 11-4); severely tested, Rares Sipos beat Sharon Alguetti of the United States (11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8).

A hard fought success for Rares Sipos, for colleague, Cristian Pletea, the no.5 seed, life was less demanding; he overcame India’s Jeet Chandra in four straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8). Similarly, amongst other leading names, there were impressive opening round wins; Japan’s Yuta Tanaka, the no.7 seed, beat Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2), China’s Xiang Peng, the no.8 seed, ended the adventures of Nikhil Kumar from the United States (11-3, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7).

Defeat for Nikhil Kumar but there was success; in one of two preliminary round Boys’ Doubles matches required, he partnered colleague Nicholas Tio to success against New Zealand’s Nathan Xu and Zhao Yanglun (12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8); on the other, India’s Jeet Chandra and Snehit Suravajjula overcame Australia’s Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu (11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

The second round and quarter-finals of the Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Singles events will be played on Saturday 8th December, three rounds of  the Boys’ Doubles and Girls’ Doubles plus the Mixed Doubles quarter-finals will be held. Thus at the end of the day, the semi-finalists in all the individual events will be known.


World Junior Championships 2018 World Junior Championships Kanak Jha Manav Vikash Thakkar Ioannis Sgouropoulos Xu Haidong

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Day 1 - 2018 World Junior Championships