by Ian Marshall, Editor
Most certainly for the crowd there was plenty of action.
…………Disappointment for Belgium’s Devos family; in round two Laurens came within a hair’s breadth of beating the host nation’s Quadri Aruna, the top seed (10-12, 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5); elder brother Robin was the biggest casualty, the no.6 seed he was beaten by Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.20 seed (12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-3).
…………The top four names all booked third round places; alongside Quadri Aruna, Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic and Austria’s Robert Gardos progressed.
…………Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw underlined the fact that he is a major challenger for honours; in the second round he accounted for Frenchman, Andrieu Landrieu, the no.9 seed (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10).
…………Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova, the top seed, made an emphatic start to her campaign; she beat Nigeria’s Rofiat Jimoh in straight games (11-3, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).
………..Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.2 seed and Yana Noskova, the no.4 seed, commenced in style. Polina Mikhailova accounted for Nigeria’s Fatima Bello (11-4, 14-12, 11-7, 11-4); Yana Noskova overcame Egypt’s Sarah Abousetta (11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 11-2).
………..Recent winner of the ITTF-Africa Cup, Dina Meshref, the no.4 seed, opened her account by beating Nigeria’s Cecilia Akpan (14-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-3); conversely for cousin, Yousra Helmy, it was defeat. She was the biggest name to fall in the opening round; the no.10 seed, she was beaten by Croatia’s Ida Jazbec (7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5).
…………The top seeded combination of Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Frenchman Quentin Robinot made the ideal start; they accounted for Congo Democratic’s Gedeon Kassa and Christian Mbonga (11-4, 11-5, 11-7).
…………Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun and Taiwo Mati caused the biggest upset in the opening round; they beat Germany’s Steffen Mengel and Kilian Ort, the no.4 seeds (9-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7).
…………Russia’s Polina Mikhailova and Yana Noskova, the no.2 seeds, survived a scare; they needed the full five games to end the hpes of India’s Sreeja Akula and Diya Parag Chitale (11-4, 4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8).
…………Nigeria’s Funmiola and Fatimo Bello caused the biggest seeding upset; they overcame South Africa’s Simeen Mookrey and Danisha Patel, the no.5 seeds (15-13, 11-2, 11-9).
…………The host nation’s venerable duo of Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike, the top seeds, experienced a quarter-final defeat; they suffered at the hands of Germany’s Kilian Ort and Wan Yuan (11-4, 11-1, 13-11).
…………Likewise, Egypt’s Khalid Assar and Yousra Helmy, the no.2 seeds, departed in the quarter-final round; they were beaten by Luxemburg’s Eric Glod and Sarah de Nutte (11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6).
Under 21 Men’s Singles
…………Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Iran’s Amir Hossein Hadaei meet in the final.
…………At the semi-final stage, Cristian Pletea, the no.4 seed, beat Romanian colleague, Rares Sipos, the top seed (11-7, 11-5, 11-5); Amir Hossein Hadaei accounted for Belgium’s Laurens Devos (8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 13-11).
Under 21 Women’s Singles
…………Belgium’s Lisa Lung and Romania’s Andreea meet to decide the title.
…………In the penultimate round, Lisa Lung , the top seed, overcame Egypt’s Marian Alhodaby, the no.3 seed, in straight games (11-4, 11-7, 11-8); Andreea Dragoman ended the hopes of India’s Sreeja Akula, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-5, 14-12).