22 Aug 2019

Individual glory and national pride were the orders of the day as the preliminary stage of play concluded on Wednesday 21st August at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open in Olomouc.

Here’s how it happened:

Women’s Singles: 

…The Netherlands’ Britt Eerland ejected China’s Yang Huijiang in a tense, down-to-the-wire matchup that ended with the Dutchwoman gaining a 4-3 victory (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11). “Keep playing, keep moving, keep fighting” was Eerland’s rally cry to herself throughout, she said afterward.

…Japan’s teen phenom Hina Hayata prevailed over Korea’s Shin Yubin 4-2 despite opening the match by dropping two games to Shin. Hayata fought on to achieve the victory (7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10). To finish, she eliminated Czech hope Tamara Tomanova in four games (11-5, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5).

…Wu Yang of China has yet to play a match in Olomouc that lasts more than four games. Her latest victims: Japan’s Minami Ando, who fell to Wu (11-4, 11-3, 11-9, 11-6) in the morning, and Germany’s Sabine Winter, who was defeated (11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8) in the afternoon.

…Also advancing to the main draw for China: Liu Xi, who won 4-2 over Russia’s Paulina Mikhailova (11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9), Feng Yalan, who took out the Netherlands’ Li Jie 4-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4), Gu Yuting, who defeated countryman Mu Zi 4-0 (11-1, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4) and Li Jiayi, who eliminated Stephanie Loeuillette of France 4-1 (11-8, 12-10, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7). The hardest fought battle, however, came between Liu Weishan and Germany’s Nina Mittelham, where Liu fought back from a 1-3 beginning to prevail 4-3 (11-6, 11-13, 8-11, 11-13, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6). 

Men’s Singles: 

…Marcos Freitas’ hot streak continues. Faced with 2018 Swedish Youth Olympian Truls Moregard today, the Portuguese star emerged with a 4-1 win (11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8) to sail into the main draw. 

…With the defeat of Jon Persson, an injury to Kristian Karlsson and Truls Moregard’s loss at the doors of the main draw, Sweden hasn’t had it easy in the Czech Republic. A bright spot for the nation was Anton Källberg, who survived an encounter with China’s Xiang Peng 4-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10) to advance.

…Zhao Zihao rode into the Czech Republic on a high after making the final in Bulgaria last week, but there will be no repeat appearance this time for the Chinese player: Ma Te prevailed over his compatriot by a margin of 4-1 (11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9). 

…Germany’s Bastian Steger outlasted teammate Steffen Mengel 4-3 (8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7) to ink his place in the main draw.

…Romania’s Cristian Pletea, who prioritises having fun, must have thoroughly enjoyed himself in his 4-2 elimination of England’s Samuel Walker (11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5).

Women’s Doubles: 

…Italy, impressive in men’s singles in these early rounds, also boasts a promising doubles pair in Giorgia Piccolin and Debora Vivarelli, who defeated the Czech Republic’s Aneta Kucerova and Katerina Tomanovska 3-2 (5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-5) only to fall to Korea’s Kim Hayeong and Lee Eunhye, who sealed their win 11-4, 11-3, 11-6.

…There was early glory for the hosts stemmed from Karin Adamkova and Dana Cechova’s comeback against Croatia’s Ivana Malobabic and Petra Petek, as they converted an 0-2 deficit into a 3-2 victory (9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5). Standing between them and the main draw were Russia’s Yana Noskova and Olga Vorobeva, who advanced on the strength of a 3-0 win (11-7, 11-9, 11-8).

…Belarus’ Nadezhda Bogdanova and Daria Trigolos looked promising for the main draw following a win against Poland’s Anna and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, 3-1 (11-4, 16-14, 8-11, 13-11), before being eliminated by Germany’s Chantal Mantz and Wan Yuan, who took things 3-0 (11-2, 11-8, 13-11). No luck either for Katsiaryna Baravok and Alina Nikitchanka, who fell early to Serbians Izabela Lupulesku and Sabina Surjan in a 3-0 victory by the Serbians (12-10, 11-3, 12-10). 

…Following her victory in singles play, the Netherlands’ Britt Eerland teamed up with Kim Vermaas to continue her success in doubles. It began as a Dutch day in this category as well: the duo defeated Russia’s Maria Dolgikh and Polina Mikhailova 3-1 (11-8, 15-13, 10-12, 11-7), but like the Italians, later lost, this time to Korea’s Choi Hyojoo and Lee Zion, who took their match 3-1 (11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7).

Men’s Doubles: 

…India is looking sharp in this discipline, with Amalraj Anthony and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran putting away the host nation’s Tomas Tregler and Tomas Konecny (14-12, 11-6, 11-9). Elsewhere, Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar took down Alexander Valuch and Wang Yang of Slovakia in four (11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-5).  

…Spurred on perhaps by the thought of avenging his singles loss, Zhao Zihao and Zhu Linfeng went on the attack against Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam and Lam Siu Hang, resulting in a 3-0 win (11-5, 12-10, 11-5).

…Likewise, Swedes Anton Källberg and Truls Moregard stormed their sets against England’s David McBeath and Samuel Walker, resulting in a 3-0 victory (11-9, 15-13, 11-9) despite the strong challenge from the English players.

…Withdrawal by Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Ricardo Walther of Germany resulted in a default win by Kriill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan and Andreas Levenko of Austria, who automatically advance. Same for Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Hungary’s Bence Majoros, who received a walk-over following the withdrawal of Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck and Poland’s Jakub Dyjas.

Mixed Doubles: 

…The still new pair of Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito continues to look like a match made in heaven. The duo coasted past Portugal’s Marcos Freitas and Fu Yu 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-4) to earn their places in the main event. 

…Tough time for the Czech Republic continued with Tomas Tregler and Dana Cechova’s 3-2 loss to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Bruna Takahashi (11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4). 

…Germany’s Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham started well, defeating India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-2 in a close match (11-4, 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9).   


World Tour Czech Open Mima Ito Dimitrij Ovtcharov Hina Hayata Jun Mizutani Marcos Freitas Truls Moregard Britt Eerland Anton Källberg Tomas Tregler

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open