15 Feb 2019

Winner some nine months ago in Slovakia, Poland’s 16 year old Samuel Kulczycki repeated the success on Thursday 14th February at the 2019 Czech Junior and Cadet Open in Hodonin.

The no.2 seed, he won the junior boys’ singles title and he won in some style.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Most impressively at the final hurdle he beat Croatia’s Ivor Ban, very much an outsider having been required to compete in the group phase of proceedings; Samuel Kulczycki prevailed in four straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 13-11).

Equally in the latter stages, Samuel Kulczycki had been in imposing form; at the quarter-final stage he had ousted Frenchman Vincent Picard, the no.15 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2), prior to overcoming Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.4 seed (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6).

Ivor Ban, the surprise runner up (Photo: Jan Brychta)


Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Ivor Ban had ousted Russia’s Maksim Grebnev, the no.3 seed, having one round earlier ended the progress of Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5) the player who had caused a major second round upset.

Required to compete in the group phase, the 15 year old had beaten Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, the top seed and quarter-finalist last year at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. In a hard fought duel, Adrien Rassenfosse had emerged successful in seven games (11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 16-18, 11-8).

Maksim Grebnev ended the adventures of Adrien Rasenfosse (Photo: Jan Brychta)


Success against Pang Yew En Koen, Adrien Rassenfosse continued his good form to beat Uldzislau Rukliatsou of Belarus, the no.9 seed (7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6), before at the quarter-final stage the journey ended.

An earlier than expected departure for Pang Yew En Koen in the junior boys’ singles event, in the junior boys’ doubles it was better news; partnering colleague Josh Shao Han, the title was secured. At the final hurdle they beat the combination of Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk and Moldova’s Vladislav Ursu (11-7, 13-11, 11-9).

The junior boys’ singles and junior boys’ doubles events completed, the focus now turns to the junior boys’ team and cadet boys’ team competitions.

Pang Yew En Koen (left) and (right) Josh Shao Han, the junior boys’ doubles winner (Photo: Jan Brychta)
World Junior Circuit 2019 Czech Junior & Cadet Open Samuel Kulczycki

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