10 Mar 2019

Eight seeds, direct entries to the second group stage of proceedings; when the third day of play, Saturday 9th March, came to a close in the men’s singles event at the Butterfly 2019 European Under 21 Championships in Gondomar, Portugal, only one remained standing.

Romania’s Rares Sipos duly reserved a semi-final place.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The previous day, in the second group phase, Austria’s Andreas Levenko, the top seed, Aliaksandr Khanin of Belarus, the no.5 seed and the Czech Republic’s Jiri Martinko, the no.8 seed, had all departed proceedings.

One day later, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.2 seed and Romania’s Cristian Pletea, the no.3 seed, alongside Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the no.6 seed and Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, the no.7 seed, all bid farewell.

Darko Jorgic experienced an opening round defeat at the hands of Russian defender, Artur Abusev (11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-4); alas the euphoria was short lived, in the next round Artur Abusev was beaten by Rares Sipos (8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8). It was for the Romanian back to form; in the opening round he had accounted for Florian Cnudde (11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7), the reason for the earlier than anticipated meeting being in the second group phase, Rares Sipos had finished in second place behind the Czech Republic’s Patrick Klos.

An opening round reverse for Florian Cnudde, for Cristian Pletea and Tobias Hippler, it was a quarter-final farewell. Tobias Hippler, who had beaten Patrik Klos in round one (11-2, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3), experienced heartache when facing Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko; he suffered in six games (11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7). Meanwhile, for Cristian Pletea it was defeat at the hands of Ioannis Sgouropoulos of Greece; a five games verdict (11-6, 14-12, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6) being the order of the day.

At the semi-final stage, in the lower half of the draw Ioannis Sgouropoulos meets Rares Sipos, Vladimir Sodorenko opposes Gerritt Engemann; the German reserving his place in the penultimate round courtesy of success against Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3) and Russia’s Denis Ivonin (11-7, 14-12, 11-13, 3-11, 3-11, 11-4, 12-10).

Play in Gondomar concludes on Sunday 10th March.

2019 Butterfly Europe Under 21 Championships Rares Sipos

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