07 Feb 2020

Maintaining a cool head, responding in the heat of the battle, the player to display those attributes to the full on Thursday 6th February at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Granada was Romania’s Rares Sipos.

The 19 year old booked his place in the third round of the men’s singles event and in the under 21 men’s singles semi-finals.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Progress in the under 21 men’s singles competition was very much as expected, the no.2 seed, at the quarter-final stage he beat Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczyk, the no.28 seed (11-4, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4); in the penultimate round he now meets Nicholas Tio of the United States, the no.7 seed.

Hard earned, the place in the men’s singles third round was even harder earned; it was in that competition the years of junior experience arguably proved invaluable.

Approaching six years ago, in 2014 in Riva del Garda Rares Sipos won the cadet boys’ singles title at the European Youth Championships, a major milestone in his career. Over the years he has been a regular face on the ITTF World Junior Circuit and at the World Junior Championships. He is well versed in the intensity of competition.

Narrow margins

In Granada, in the opening round of the men’s singles event, the no.25 seed, Rares Sipos, eventually overcame the defensive skills of the Czech Republic’s Stanislav Kucera by the very narrowest of margins (11-8, 3-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10), before causing a major second round upset. He accounted Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, the no.3 seed and winner on the ITTF World Tour in 2012 in Rabat, Morocco.

Once again Rares Sipos kept his nerve, maintained his concentration; he succeeded in a tense seven games encounter (11-13, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).

ITTF Challenge Series

Fine performances and climbing the rankings; last year on the under 21 men’s list in February he stood at no.7, now he is at no.5; however, it is on the men’s world rankings where the significant progress is to be witnessed. In the same period, he has advanced from no.245 to no.141, over 100 places.

Furthermore, Rares Sipos is surely benefitting from the ITTF Challenge Series concept. In 2019 in Nigeria he reached the men’s singles quarter-finals, the under 21 men’s singles semi-finals, also in Portugal he advanced to the under 21 men’s singles quarter-finals.

However, it would seem he has a favourite destination; last year he was an under 21 men’s singles quarter-finalist, a men’s singles semi-finalist in a city located on the Henares river, the city Guadalajara, the country Spain; take note!

Challenge Series 2020 Spanish Open Rares Sipos

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Day 3 - 2020 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open