15 May 2019

Places in the main draw at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Croatia Open in Zagreb at stake on Wednesday 15th May, the second and concluding day of qualification; it was very much one of contrasts.

In the men’s singles and men’s doubles events, the top names remained unbeaten; in the counterpart women’s singles and women’s doubles competitions, they fell.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, for one notable casualty there was a reprieve.

Men’s Singles

…………Japan’s Yuki Hirano and Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei, the top names on qualification duty progressed in style. Yuki Hirano beat Romania’s Bogdan Singeorzan (11-2, 11-7, 11-6); Peng Wang-Wei accounted for Slovenia’s Tilen Cvetko (11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).

…………Russia’s Maksim Grebnev kept his nerve to cause a significant upset; he beat Chile’s Gustavo Gomez, the sixth highest rated player in the qualification phase (15-13, 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9) to secure his place in the main draw.

…………Winner last week in Slovenia, the host nation’s Wei Shihao continued his run of form; he overcame Chinese Taipei’s Yang Heng-Wei (15-13, 11-8, 11-8) to keep hopes of a repeat alive.

Women’s Singles

…………Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz and Austria’s Karoline Mischek, the leading names on preliminary phase duty, experienced defeats in their concluding matches. Melanie Diaz lost to Romania’s Arina Singeorzan (12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8); Karoline Mischek suffered at the hands of Japan’s Ayami Narumoto (11-2, 11-4, 11-5). However, there was a reprieve for Karoline Mischek, she gained one of the two “Lucky Loser” places.

…………Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara and Russia’s Maria Malanina booked main draw places against the odds. Both maintained focus to beat the highest ranked player in their respective groups by the minimal margin. Caroline Kumahara accounted for Russia’s Olga Vorobeva (11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11); Maria Malanina overcame the host nation’s Dorina Srebrnjak (11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9).

…………Sreeja Akula flew the flag for India; she beat Sweden’s Christina Källberg, the leading name in the group, in five games (11-7, 9-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7) to book her main draw place.

Men’s Doubles

…………Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Horacio Cifuentes, the highest rated pair on duty in the qualification stage beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic and Deni Kozul (11-7, 11-4, 11-5) to gain a main draw place.

…………Silver medallists the previous week in Slovenia, Chinese Taipei’s Huang Chien-Tu and Wang Tai-Wei experienced a third preliminary round defeat at the hands of Japan’s Hibiki Tazoe and Kenta Tazoe (15-13, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).

Women’s Doubles

…………The highest rated pair in the preliminary stage experienced defeat in round two; Pauline Chasselin and Audrey Zarif of France lost to Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada (10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8).

…………Croatia’s Klara Cakol and Iviana Tubikanec performed the recovery of the second preliminary round. They fought back from a two games to nil deficit to beat the combination formed by Charlotte Carey of Wales and England’s Maria Tsaptsinos (12-14, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10).

Under 21 Men’s Singles

…………India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and Japan’s Yukiya Uda, the respective top two seeds, booked under 21 men’s singles quarter-final places but in very different fashions. Manav Vikash Thakkar needed the full five games to beat Italy’s Chen Shuainan, the no.26 seed (10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7); Yukiya Uda overcame Siddesh Pande, the no.15 seed, also from India in straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-2).

Under 21 Women’s Singles

…………The top names booked quarter-final places. In the second round, Japan’s Yumeno Soma, the top seed, beat India’s Moumita Das, the no.13 seed (12-10, 11-3, 11-9); Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.2 seed, accounted for Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin, the no.12 seed (6-11, 11-9, 14-12, 8-11, 11-3).

Challenge Series 2019 Croatia Open Peng Wang-Wei Yuki Hirano and Chinese

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