Tournaments

15 Aug 2019

Stay informed with the latest as the main event begins, Thursday 15th August, at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open.

In Panagyurishte an intense day beckons.

Rising star knock Lee Sangsu out!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

An emerging force from Slovenia, Darko Jorgic is the name to note in the closing session of the day putting in a truly awe-inspiring performance to topple no.5 seed Lee Sangsu by a 4-3 margin (11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6).

We also lost Frenchman Simon Gauzy from the draw following the no.12 seed’s six games defeat to China’s Zhao Zihao (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 4-11, 11-4).

Incredible outing from Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Statement win for King Aruna

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Crowned champion in Lagos, now Nigerian star Quadri Aruna has chalked up an impressive win in his opening fixture in Panagyurishte. Taking on China’s Ma Te in a thrilling affair Aruna’s power proved pivotal, wowing spectators with his attacking prowess (11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).

“I’m very happy of course. I’m very tired after playing 11 days in Lagos non-stop. I said I should just come to Panagyurishte since I’m in the main draw only to enjoy myself. It was a very tough match, point after point I get more and more tired because he is a defender. But of course I’m here to enjoy myself and play without any kind of pressure.” Quadri Aruna

Brazilian athlete Thiago Monteiro came close to a big upset over on table 2, narrowly falling short to no.7 seed Wong Chun Ting (8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9).

End of the road for Elizabeta Samara

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

The no.14 seed for the women’s singles event but Elizabeta Samara’s run has been halted in round one after the Romanian lost out to unseeded Chinese opponent Fan Siqi 4-3 (11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 8-11, 11-4).

Another qualifier to strike success against seeded opposition was Singapore’s Yu Mengyu who put out the no.6 seed from Japan, Saki Shibata (4-11, 14-12, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9).

Round one defeat for Elizabeta Samara (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Chen Xingtong survives stern test

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

China’s Chen Xingtong came mightily close to a shock opening round exit in Panagyurishte, requiring the full match distance to see off Japanese qualifier Airi Abe (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-13, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11).

Defeat for Airi Abe but fellow compatriot Hina Hayata emerged victorious in her all-Japan head-to-head with Honoka Hashimoto (11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9). The two remaining fixtures saw Miu Hirano and Jeon Jihee pick up ‘walkover’ wins over Han Ying and Chen Szu-Yu.

Portuguese star outclasses Koki Niwa

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Another huge result to report in the opening round of men’s singles action as Portuguese qualifier Marcos Freitas knocks third seed Koki Niwa out of the running.

The standout game was the third as Freitas produced a merciless display, winning by a staggering 10 point margin! Japan’s Niwa gave a better account of himself in the following game but it was not enough (13-11, 11-6, 11-1, 11-9).

Thunderous display sees Marcos Freitas crush no,3 seeded opponent (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Vladi is out!!!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov has suffered a crushing defeat in round one of the men’s singles event: the 43-year-old was toppled by young Japanese star Yuta Tanaka, who needed just five games to complete the upset (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 15-13).

Tomokazu Harimoto roars to victory

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

The top seeded entry in the men’s singles draw, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto has put his name into round two of the competition following a strong outing against China’s Zhu Linfeng.

Coming out on top without too much to worry about, but it was the third game that proved decisive as Harimoto saved three game point opportunities on his way to victory (11-7, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6).

Not to be for Zhu Linfeng (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Georgina Pota beaten at first hurdle

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

No.15 seed Georgina Pota has experienced defeat at the first hurdle in Panagyurishte with the Hungarian player struggling to get a foothold against China’s Wu Yang (11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5).

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for the host nation as Maria Yovkova fell to Japan’s Minami Ando across five games (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

Japanese women exhibit class

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

It was an afternoon of classy displays from Japanese women, as Hitomi Sato took on Haruna Ojio, and Kasumi Ishikawa defeated Portuguese Shao Jieni.

Ishikawa was imperious against Shao, winning four straight games in identical fashion to wrap up the match (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6). Over at table 4, Hitomi had other plans after Haruna started the better of the two, with Hitomi using all her powerful forehand tricks to eventually win 4-1 (5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-0, 11-3).

“I am happy with the win and especially about the fact I managed to win in straight games. Of course, there is always room for improvement but that is a good start for me. I played well from the beginning. I love coming to Bulgaria and Panagyurishte especially. I feel very well here and I hope I can win again.” Kasumi Ishikawa

Hitomi Sato beat Haruna Ojio. (Photo: Rémy Gros) 
Home faourvites react

Here’s what Teodor Alexandrov and Denislav Kodjabashev react to their straight games success:

Our opponents made some errors early in the game, which allowed us to settle in quickly and we got off from there! But we have to improve our game a lot if we want to be competitive in the next round.” Teodor Alexandrov

“The home crowd gave us a huge boost and it was a pleasure to win in front of them. One of the Romanian guys has played in the Bulgarian championship so we knew what to expect and that was vital. We are both very happy with the win!” Denislav Kodjabashev

Romanians lose to home favorites

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

Bulgarians Teodor Alexandrov and Denislav Kodjabashev gave the crowd something to cheer about, as they clinically defeated Romania’s Alexandru Manole and Alin Spelbus.

In three quick and powerful games, Alexandrov and Kodjabashev took no prisoners and won in straight games (11-4, 11-2, 11-8). Meanwhile, Koreans Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik also won in three, beating Belgians 3-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-7).

Belgians progress, Asians battle it out

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

Belgian pair of Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet progressed to the quarter-finals as their opponents from Italy Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov were sadly injured in the third set.

Over on Table 1, the Japanese and Hong Kong athletes were involved in an intense encounter, as Yukiya Uda and Kazuhiro Yoshimura came out on top in five games against Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting (10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7).

Yukiya Uda (pictured) and partner Kazuhiro Yoshimura  won in a stunning fashion. (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Indian pair cannot upset Korean seeds

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

In a hotly contested match, Indian pair Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath came very close to upsetting top Korean pairing of Jeon Jihee and Yang Hauen (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11).

Winning the first game, Batra and Kamath were looking like they could do something special. However, Jeon and Yang hit back with three straight games, keeping a strong hold on the match.

Japan’s having good day

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

Following on from their mixed doubles’ success, Japanese double’s pairings continued with strong performances. Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata won in straight games against Singaporean Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu (11-7, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7).

Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki had to work slightly harder versus Belarus’ Daria Trigolos and Nadezhda Bogdanova, with the European pair constantly pushing them into the corner of the table for returns. Eventually, Miyuu and Miyu came out on top winning 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 12-10).

Miyu Nagasaki (left) and (right) Miyuu Kihara en route to success. (Photo: Tony Leung)
Sun rises in time for Japan

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

Japanese pairings started with aplomb in Panagyurishte, as Tamakuzu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa saw off Serbians Izabela Lupulesku and Aleksandar Karakasevic 3-1 (11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3).

Harimoto and Ishikawa were very strong on the serve, meaning Lupulesku and Karakasevic never really got going. Over on Table 4, Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito did not need to serve as their opponents Hungarian Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz withdrew.

Contrasting start for Korea

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

It was a morning of polarities for the Koreans at Asarel Arena as one pairing of Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee could not match the winning start of their compatriots Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin.

Top seeds Lee and Jeon were up against the effervescent Chinese pairing of Ma Te and Wu Yang, losing two games straight. Despite their best efforts, the Korean pair could not make it count, losing 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6). Meanwhile, Cho and Shin won against Hungarians Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel in an intense encounter (8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6).

Jeon Jihee (left) and (right) Lee Sangsu beaten by Ma Te and Wu Yang.
Let the main stage begin!

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

Match Highlights