Tournaments

03 May 2019

The opening rounds of the men’s singles and women’s singles events concluded on Friday 3rd May at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Serbia Open in Belgrade, the very top names progressed without too much alarm to round three.

However, there were surprises as highly seeded names fell by the wayside.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

There was plenty to attract the attention

Men’s Singles

…………Austria’s Stefan Fegerl and Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar, the respective top two seeds, alongside Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre, the no.3 seed, booked third round places.

…………Hungary’s Adam Szudi caused the biggest upset, the no.26 seed, in the second round he beat Belgium’s Florent Lambiet, the no.4 seed (12-10, 11-6, 13-11, 11-4).

…………England’s Sam Walker, the no.5 seed and Japan’s Masaki Yoshida, the no.6 seed, both departed in round one, beaten by qualifiers. Sam Walker lost to Japan’s Shiogo Tahara (11-4, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10), Masaki Yoshida suffered at the hands of Frenchman Abdel-Kader Salifou (11-9, 11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 11-6).

…………Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, the no.7 seed and Belgium’s Robin Devos, the no.8 seed, departed in round two, both experienced defeats at the hands of Japanese opposition. Lam Siu Hang was beaten by Yuta Tanaka, a qualifier (11-4, 11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 11-8), Robin Devos by Yuki Matsuyama, the no.28 seed (11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6).

Women’s Singles

…………Japan’s Hina Hayata alongside Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam and Ng Wing Nam, the respective top three seeds all progressed to round three in style, as did Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova, the next name in the order of merit.

…………Russia’s Anna Bikbaeva, the former Anna Blazhko, caused the biggest upset. Required to qualify, she beat colleague Yana Noskova, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8) to reserve her third round place.

…………The host nation’s Sabina Surjan caused an opening round shock; she beat Spain’s Galia Dvorak, the no.8 seed (12-10, 3-11, 11-4, 5-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-7). However, the euphoria was short lived, in the second round she was beaten by Italy’s Li Xiang, the no.17 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-13, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3).

…………Imposing, Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.5 seed and Hungary’s Szandra Pergel, the no.7 seed both reserved third round places without surrendering a single game

Under 21 Men’s Singles

…………Frenchman Bastien Rembert and Leo de Nodrest caused the biggest upsets. In the second round Bastien Rembert, the no.10 seed, beat Japan’s Yuta Tanaka, the no.2 seed (11-7, 11-8, 13-11); Leo de Nodrest, the no.12 seed, accounted for Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, the no.3 seed (8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8).

…………Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the top seed and Nils Hohmeier the no.4 seed, both reserved quarter-final places.

Under 21 Women’s Singles

…………Russia’s Kristina Kazantseva caused the biggest upset; a qualifier, in the opening round she beat Spain’s Zhang Sofia-Xuan, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5).

…………Audrey Zarif of France, the top seed, alongside colleague Oceane Guisnel, the no.3 seed and Russia’s Maria Malanina, the no.4 seed, duly negotiated the opening round and thus made quarter-final reservations.

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Challenge Series 2019 Seamaster Serbia Open Adam Szudi
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