15 Aug 2019

Follow all the thrills and spills from the second day of qualification action, Wednesday 14th August, in Panagyurishte as the race for main draw positions at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open continues:

Heroic display but Englishman falls short

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Four

Responsible for putting out one Chinese competitor earlier in the qualification tournament but at the final preliminary hurdle England’s Paul Drinkhall couldn’t replicate the outcome, exiting to Zheng Peifeng in a seven-game thriller (14-12, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 1-11, 5-11, 11-7).

Zheng Peifeng squeezes through (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Tomislav Pucar shows his class

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Four

One of the year’s standout to have emerged from the European scene, Tomislav Pucar has chalked up another impressive win to add to the list with Austria’s Stefan Fegerl proving unable to hold off the Croatian player (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7).

For Pucar’s fellow countryman Andrej Gacina the outcome was defeat, falling to Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic by a 4-2 score-line (11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).

Doubles draws

The main draw fixtures for the three doubles events have been decided:

Champion in Lagos, qualification exit in Panagyurishte

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Last weekend Polina Mikhailova was busy celebrating title success at the 2019 Nigeria Open in Lagos but the Russian won’t be present in the main stage of the 2019 Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte following a crushing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin (12-10, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7).

However, surely the most eye-catching match of the session was that of Japan’s Hina Hayata taking on China’s Zhang Qiang with the former of the two players coming out on top across six games (10-12, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 15-13).

No main draw spot for Polina Mikhailova (Photo: Chris Petkov)
One win and one defeat for Italian hopefuls

Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov will represent Italy in the men’s doubles main draw after emerging from their concluding qualifying match with a straight games win over France’s Irvin Bertrand and Jules Rolland (11-6, 13-11, 11-8).

However, the other Italian pair of Leonardo Mutti and Jordy Piccolin experienced defeat with the Belarusian partnership of Aliaksandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov moving through in their place (11-7, 11-9, 11-8).

Gu Yuting misses out!

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

A women’s singles quarter-finalist a couple of months back at the 2019 Japan Open but Gu Yuting won’t be appearing in main draw action in Panagyurishte.

In preliminary round three of the qualification tournament Gu Yuting failed to capitalise on a 3-1 advantage as she lost out to fellow Chinese competitor Fan Siqi in a full distance encounter (11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Gu Yuting misses out to fellow compatriot (Photo: Chris Petkov)
End-to-end action

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin were involved in a serious clash against Romanian opponents Cristian Pletea and Elizabeta Samara in the second preliminary round of mixed doubles action.

In an end-to-end affair both pairs showed great character and neither could be separated after four games, but at the last it was Cho and Shin who prevailed 3-2 (11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6) to seal their spot in the main event.

Belarusians recover

Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

Falling behind early but the Belarusian duo of Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos have come through a difficult test against Yana Noskova and Olga Vorobeva, beating the Russian combination 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7).

Elsewhere, India’s Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath were pushed right down to the wire but came good in a five-game battle with Serbia’s Izabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan (8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5).

Daria Trigolos and Nadezhda Bogdanova fight back to progress (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Meng falls at third hurdle

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Meng Fanbo could not keep up his good form going into the third round of qualifying as he lost out to Ukrainian Kou Lei in four games (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-4).

Having come through the previous two rounds with aplomb, the German was expected to put up a real fight against Kou. However, the match was swiftly decided by the efficient display by Kou.

No main event in Bulgaria for Meng Fanbo.
Drinkhall continues impressive run

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Paul Drinkhall is on a roll! After beating China’s Xue Fei in the previous round, the Englishman was very impressive in seeing off Japanese opponent Hibiki Tazoe.

In his 4-2 win, Drinkhall recorded an 11-0 game which was by far his most impressive. Tazoe tried his utmost by winning two games, but it was not fruitful as Drinkhall proceeded to the next round (11-3, 9-11, 11-0, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4).

Paul Drinkhall, a man on a mission. (Photo by: Vidoje Manojlovic)


Kihara and Lee renew Asian rivalry

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Miyuu Kihara and Lee Zion were involved in a hugely intense match here at Arena Asarel. The Japanese Kihara and Korean Lee, made sure every fan in the stadium was on the edge of their seats for a seven-game classic.

Starting off with a good win, Lee lost three straight games thereafter and it seemed like the match was over. The comeback that followed rocked Kihara so much that the seventh game was locked at 10-10. Eventually, Japan’s rising star found a way to beat her enigmatic opponent and breathe a sigh of relief (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3, 6-11, 6-11, 12-10).

Miyuu Kihara was truly stretched in that match versus Zion Lee!


Batra falters, Haruna impresses

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Manika Batra had too much to do in her final match of qualifying, losing out China’s Wu Yang in straight games (11-3, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).

The Indian tried her best but Yang had her number today. Not too far from these two, young Japanese Haruna Ojio was in blistering form against Italian Giorgia Piccolin, winning 4-0 in under 25 minutes!

Wu Yang was brilliant against Manika Batra. (Photo: JTTA)
Chen and Fan progress

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Two

Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu had an impressive showing in the early hours of qualifying on day two, as she waltzed past France’s Audrey Zarif in straight games (12-10, 11-2, 11-6, 11-1).

Following suit was China’s Fan Siqi who also won in four games as she saw off Russian hopeful Valeria Shcherbatykh (11-2, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7).

Fan Siqi advances to Women’s Singles main event. (Photo: Rémy Gros) 
Good morning Romania

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round One

Cristian Pletea and Elizabeta Samara rose well ahead of their opponents in the morning here in Bulgaria, as they recorded a good 3-0 win over Alexander Valuch and Tatiana Kukulkova.

The Romanian pair were fast in their movements and strong in their returns, asserting themselves over the Slovakians. Meanwhile, on table 3, China’s Ma Te and Wu Yang also ran out 3-0 winners against the Luxembourg pair of Sarah Meyer and Christian Kill.

Action continues!

Here’s the schedule for day two of the qualification tournament in Panagyurishte:

World Tour 2019 Asarel Bulgaria Open 2019 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open Panagyurishte

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Photo Gallery

Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

Match Highlights