by Ian Marshall, Editor
In the title deciding contest he beat colleague Cao Yantao, the no.13 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 13-11) to reserve the top step of the podium; in 2018, Cao Yantao having been a quarter-finalist in Poland, semi-finalist in China and the runner up in Hungary.
Unexpected finalists according to seeding; both en route to the decisive contest had caused notable upsets. In particular, after ousting Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.4 seed (11-8, 11-4, 11-4, 12-10), Cao Yantao had recorded a semi-final success in opposition Russia’s Lev Katsman, the top seed, the winner the previous week in France and earlier in the year in February in Bahrain. Impressively, Cao Yantao prevailed in six games (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9).
Similarly, in the adjacent half of the draw, Quan Kaiyuan had ended the hopes of prominent names. Most notably in the third round he beat Maksim Grebnev, the no.2 seed and like Lev Katsman from Russia (11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 11-4), prior to overcoming Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jen (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 5-11, 11-9) and colleague Zeng Beixun, the no.16 seed (9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9) to reserve his place in the final.
Notably, Zeng Beixun had also impressed; in round four he accounted for Denmark’s Daniel Simonsen (11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3), the third round winner in opposition to Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, the no.3 seed (11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9), prior to ousting Chinese Taipei’s Tai Ming-Wei, the no.3 seed, to reserve his last eight place (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 5-11, 11-9).
A surprise junior boys’ singles winner, it was the same in the junior boys’ doubles event, Japan’s Hiroto Shinosuka and Jo Yokotani, the no.25 seeds, emerged the winners. In the second round they caused a major upset by beating Iran’s Amin Ahmadian and Radim Khayyam, the no.2 seeds (11-4, 11-7, 11-8), before later in the day, securing the title at the final expense of the host nation’s Olav Kosolosky and Adrien Rassenfosse, the no.4 seeds, an engagement determined by the very narrowest of margins (13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 13-11).
Most impressively, one round earlier at the semi-final stage, Olav Kosolosky and Adrien Rassenfosse had had recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Maksim Grebnev and Lev Katsman (10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9), the top seeds and runners up at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo.
Disappointment for Russia but there was success; in the hopes boys’ singles event, they provided all four semi-finalists.
Aleksei Samokhin emerged the winner accounting for Serafim Orlov in the final (11-9, 11-7, 12-10); in the penultimate round Aleksei Samokhin had beaten Roman Vinogradov (11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7), Serafim Orlov had overcome Nikita Ryabakov had (11-8, 11-6, 11-6).
The junior boys’ singles and hopes boys’ singles events concluded, attention now turns to the team competitions.