16 Apr 2019

A member of the successful Japanese outfit the previous week in Metz, Jo Yokotani alongside China’s Lin Shidong and England’s Sam Wilson were very much the players to attract the attention in the first day of play, Monday 15th April, in the junior boys’ singles event at the 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open in Spa.

The top 16 seeds not required to compete in the initial phase of proceedings, contrary to expectations all three ended the day in first places in their respective groups.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Notably, all three beat the highest ranked players in their respective groups.

Jo Yokotani accounted for Spain’s Alberto Lillo (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8), the second highest rated on first stage duty behind Singapore’s Peng Chih, a young man who duly topped his group without alarm; similarly, Lin Shidong and Sam Wilson overcame the respective third and fourth names in the group phase pecking order. Lin Shidong beat Italy’s Carlo Rossi (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5); Sam Wilson overcame Spain’s Marc Gutierrez (12-10, 11-7, 11-6).

Impressive, first place for Lin Shidong (Photo: Mike Loveder)


The saving grace for Alberto Lillo and Carlo Rossi was that it was their only defeat; thus they finished in second position and advanced to the main draw. Alas for Mar Gutierrez, he had to settle for third place and therefore elimination. Second position finished in the hands of Thailand’s Thyme Sanglertsilpachi.

Defeats for notable names, for Canada’s Edward Ly, India’s Ryan Alburquerque and Portugal’s Tiago Li alongside China’s Quan Kaiyuan, the players who completed the top eight names on qualification duty, it was top spot.

Top spot for Edward Ly as expected (Photo: Bernard Comeliau)


However, further down the list, there were surprise names who ended the day at the heads of the order.

]Against the odds, Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yu secured first place in his group as did Frenchman Alex Lebrun China’s Tao Yuchang, Iran’s David Shams and Russia’s Maksim Bokov. Likewise, there were unexpected first places for Japan’s Ryoichi Yoshiyama, Denmark’s Daniel Simonsen, England’s James Smith and Gabriellus Camara of the Netherlands. Meanwhile, following suit, Ukraine’s Mykyta Zavada and Vladislav Bannikov reserved top places against the odds as did Italy’s Marco Cappuccino.

First place against the odds for James Smith (Photo: Mike Loveder)


The junior boys’ singles event will be played to a conclusion on Tuesday 16th April.

World Junior Circuit 2019 Belgium Junior and Cadet Open Jo Yokotani Lin Shidong Sam Wilson

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