14 Mar 2019

Runner up just under one year ago, when as today, the tournament was staged in Guadalajara, the goal for Austria’s Robert Gardos is to climb one step higher than in 2018 and one step higher than his status suggests.

At the forthcoming Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open, which commences on Wednesday 20th March, in the men’s singles event, he is the no.2 seed; undoubtedly he is a major challenger for honours.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Moreover, can the player, renowned as one of the most dedicated and hard working on the international stage, make it third time lucky; or perhaps more accurately, third time successful?

In 2006, in the men’s singles final at the ITTF World Tour Chile Open in Santiago, he was beaten by Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus in a full distance seven games final determined by the very narrowest of margins.

There is no doubt that Robert Gardos has experience on his side but he does not have time on his side?Earlier this year on the day prior to the commencement of qualification for the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open, he celebrated his 40th birthday.

Furthermore, officially a veteran, in Budapest he did not enjoy the best of form. Required to compete in the qualification tournament, he was beaten in the second round, his opening match, by Croatia’s Frane Kojic. Later partnering colleague Daniel Habesohn it was an opening round men’s doubles exit at the hands of Frenchmen Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson.

The signs are not good for Robert Gardos but there are very positive factors in his favour in Guadalajara.

Last year he was beaten in the final of the men’s singles event by Kim Minhyeok; this year there are no players from Korea Republic on duty. Also, there is no Vladimir Samsonov. Robert Gardos can breathe a sigh of relief, the door is wide open! Just be careful it is not a trap door!

Challenge Series 2019 Seamaster Spanish Open Robert Gardos

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open