by Ian Marshall, Editor
Listed at no.203 on the current men’s world rankings, 27 year old Diogo Carvalho accounted for Austria’s Maciej Kolodzieczyk (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7); likewise, 23 year old Diogo Chen, listed at no.291 in the global order, ended the progress of Romania’s Iulian Chirita (11-7, 11-9, 11-2, 11-5).
Although for the major tournaments on the calendar they stand next in line for national selection behind the likes of Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia, João Monteiro and João Geraldo, they are very much seasoned international players. Notably, Diogo Carvalho and João Geraldo won the men’s doubles title last year at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Serbia Open.
No world ranking
Conversely for Ines Matos, only 15 years old, she has far less international experience, last year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit she was a cadet girls’ singles quarter-finalist in both Spain and Belgium but that is the sum total of her achievements.
Moreover, her name does not appear on any current world ranking list; in the second round of the under 21 women’s singles event she beat Russia’s Mariia Tailakova. Presently on the under 21 women’s world rankings, Msaria Tailakova stands at no.7, in Lisbon she is the no.6 seed. Against all the odds Ines Matos prevailed in four games (11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8)
“I came here to play and gain experience, without any pressure because I know I’m one of the youngest players but I end up winning the match. I think it was the tactics; I listened to everything that my coach told me and that way I won. The public was very important, they makes you stronger.” Ines Matos
In the third round Ines Matos meets Amy Wang of the United States, the no.32 seed.