Tournaments

21 Aug 2019

Follow the second and final day of qualification action in Olomouc as the race for the 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open draws to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday 21st August:

Singles draw unveiled

The draws for the men’s and women’s singles events have been conducted – grab a look at the line-up:

Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito a formidable team

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

One partnership that could well be in with a shout of mixed doubles silverware, despite beginning their journey in qualification action, is that of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito.

The Japanese pair looked simply unstoppable in their preliminary round two match against Marcos Freitas and Fu Yu, prevailing over the Portuguese line-up by a 3-0 score-line (11-8, 11-7, 11-4) to reserve their place in the main event.

Qualification secured, how far can Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito go in Olomouc? (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Battle of young stars

Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

With the combined total age of all four players involved on table 4 totalling just 81, it’s fair to say spectators were given a good look at the future stars of the sport. Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Greece’s Ioannis Sgouropoulos held the upper hand this time out, powering past Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko and Austria’s Andreas Levenko in straight games (11-7, 11-3, 11-8).

Gu Yuting and Mu Zi stroll through

Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Round Two

There was no stopping Gu Yuting and Mu Zi in their second preliminary round encounter with the Slovak duo of Tatiana Kukulkova and Nikoleta Puchovanova succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against the Chinese pair (12-10, 11-4, 11-4).

Gu Yuting and Mu Zi have strong understanding of each other’s strengths (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Two victories to celebrate for Indian fans

Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Round One

Both Indian pairs involved in men’s doubles action celebrated success in the 5.30pm session of play.

Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran needed just three games to get the better of the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny and Tomas Tregler (14-12, 11-6, 11-9) while Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar got the job done against Slovak opponents Alexander Valuch and Wang Yang in four games (11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran impress (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Italian pair frustrate local favourites

Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Round One

Disappointment for the host nation as Aneta Kucerova and Katerina Tomanovska failed convert an early lead in their women’s doubles preliminary round match against Giorgia Piccolin and Debora Vivarelli, losing out to the Italian combination across five games (5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-5).

However, the other Czech partnership in action did emerge victorious with Karin Adamkova and Dana Cechova fighting back from 0-2 down to beat Croatia’s Ivana Malobabic and Petra Petek 3-2 (9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5).

Experience prevails

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Four

Marcos Freitas, who secured a semi-finals finish last weekend in Bulgaria, has put his name in the draw for the 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open men’s singles event. The 31-year-old Portuguese star was simply a class above Truls Moregard, 17, beating the Swedish teenager 4-1 (11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8).

Defeat for Moregard but there was success for another Swedish competitor in the concluding preliminary round as Anton Källberg recovered from an early deficit to see off China’s Xiang Peng (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10).

Portugal’s Marcos Freitas takes his place in the main draw (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Britt Eerland reacts

Saving a match point in the deciding seventh game of her meeting with Yang Huijing, Dutch player Britt Eerland looks back at her 4-3 win (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11) over her Chinese rival:

“I am really satisfied. Nowadays it is very hard to reach the main draw at World Tour tournaments as so many good players compete in the qualification. I was a fighting with myself a little bit because I really wanted to play the main draw but when you focus on this too much then it is really hard to play. So all the time I was telling myself to keep playing, keep moving, keep fighting… In the end, I felt we were both quite tense. I tried to stay calm and relaxed and it was important to put pressure on the ball because when I played too easy she killed me. The braver player won in the end.” Britt Eerland

Britt Eerland holds her nerve (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Li Jie falls short

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Four

The top ranked player involved in women’s singles qualification action, Li Jie has missed out on the opportunity to represent the Netherlands in the Round of 32 after she was completely overwhelmed by Chinese opponent Feng Yalan in four straight games (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4).

There was further success for China in the 3.00pm session with the likes of Wu Yang and Li Jiayi prevailing in their respective encounters while Gu Yuting proved too strong for Mu Zi in an all-China contest (11-1, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4).

Big names getting ready

With the seeded players set to enter the draw on Thursday, Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and France’s Simon Gauzy have arrived at the venue:

Zhao Zihao falls to Chinese compatriot

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Finalist last weekend in Panagyurishte, but in Olomouc there won’t be a spot in the men’s singles main draw for China’s Zhao Zihao. Taking on fellow countryman Ma Te in the third preliminary round, Zhao suffered a convincing defeat (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9).

No main draw spot for Zhao Zihao (Photo: Chris Petkov)
Truls Moregard reacts

Here’s what Truls Morgard had to say following his 4-2 victory over Vladimir Sidorenko:

“We have played against each other many times so we know each other’s game very well as we practice a lot, for example at the European Youth Championships in Ostrava before our double matches. It was a difficult match for both of us. But we improved our games since cadets so every match is different. This time it went better for me but it was very close. One month ago I won the European singles title here in the Czech Republic so I like this country very much and I also have some supporters so it is a pleasure to play here.” Truls Moregard

One step closer

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Truls Moregard is now just one step away from the men’s singles main event in Olomouc with the Swedish ace coming out on top 4-2 in his preliminary round three encounter against Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9).

Elsewhere, there was a show stopping performance from England’s Samuel Walker, who recovered from a 1-3 deficit to beat Germany’s Benedikt Duda in a breathtaking full distance affair (6-11, 3-11, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9).

“I had a very bad start I made too many mistakes in the first two sets so I was 0-2 down. Being 0-2 down against Duda is very difficult because he doesn’t give you anything easy as he is a very consistent player and very strong in service, receive game. So then I tried to get myself more into the rallies and not take so much risk in the first balls. I tried to play point by point and keep fighting. This victory is very big for me because last season I lost many matches in the seventh set.” Samuel Walker

Polish and Indian players share the spoils

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Poland’s Natalia Partyka is through to the fourth preliminary round of the women’s singles event following a solid display against Indian opponent Sutirtha Mukherjee: with the score all-square at one game apiece, Partyka took her performance up a gear to claim the next three consecutive games (11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8).

However, Partyka’s fellow compatriot Natalia Bajor is out of the running after she ended up on the wrong side of a seven-game match with another Indian player in the form of Sreeja Akula (8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).

Natalia Partyka shows her class (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Tamara Tomanova reacts

Fresh from her 4-3 success the host nation’s Tamara Tomanova reflects on her 4-3 win against Italy’s Jamila Laurenti (11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9):

“Laurenti plays with a dangerous backhand rubber so I have to get used to it. I won the first set which was very important but it was a very big fight until the very end. Maybe I could win 4-2 but I could also lose. But that doesn’t matter now I am very happy which is more than I could even hope before the tournament. It is my best results on the international field so far.” Tamara Tomanova

Hina Hayata too strong for up-and-coming talent

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round Three

Experiencing an early scare in her preliminary round three meeting with Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin, but Japan’s Hina Hayata is now just one win away from the main draw in Olomouc after posting a 4-2 victory over the 15-year-old star (7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10).

The other Japanese player to prevail in the 10.20am session was Yurika Taira, who also required six games as she came out on top against Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin (11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7).

Difficult start but Hina Hayata holds off Korean counterpart (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Czech pair narrowly miss out

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round One

A brave effort but it was an opening round defeat nonetheless for the host nation’s Tomas Tregler and Dana Cechova, who managed to fight back from two games down to draw level. But, it wasn’t enough as Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Bruna Takahashi squeezed over the line by a 3-2 score-line (11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4).

Play underway

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

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

Match Highlights