19 Feb 2020

The second day of qualifying is upon us, as the 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open moves towards the final players to make the main event.

Follow the action live from 09:00 am local time in Budapest on the morning of Wednesday 19th February.

Noshad Alamiyan joins elite

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 4

Noshad Alamiyan has negotiated his way into the main draw, beating Sweden’s Jon Persson 4-2 (15-13, 13-11, 3-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8) to ensure Iranian presence in the men’s singles event.

“He is a very strong player. Last time I lost in straight games but at least I could get ready for this match. Today I knew what to expect, to take the first game was very important for me to able to play the game I wanted. I forced him to play backhand to backhand as on that side I was stronger today. I had no problem reading his serves so he was constantly under pressure when served. I am over the moon to make the main draw here in Budapest.” Noshad Alamiyan

In-form Robert Gardos is also through after the Austrian completed his qualification journey with a straight games success against Anton Källberg (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9).

Qiu Dang proves worth

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 4

Qiu Dang’s victory at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open was no fluke and the young German continues to prove himself, powering past Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia in a 4-0 win (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).

Andrej Gacina secured his place in the main draw despite an early scare against Japan’s Yuki Hirano. In his quest to join the league of the elite in the main draw, the European star overcame his Japanese counterpart 4-1 (10-12, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8). Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek was also on the winning lane, picking up one of the main draw slots available with a 4-1 win (14-16, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7) over Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.

Shunsuke Togami repeats Portugal feat

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 4

Just like he did at the ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open, Japan’s Shunsuke Togami has again fought his way into the main draw after a 4-0 win (11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3) over Belgium’s Martin Allegro. Yukiya Uda followed his compatriot into the main draw after beating Englishman Paul Drinkhall 4-2 (8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9).

Alexandre Cassin showed what he is capable of when it matters most as the Frenchman defeated Chinese Taipei stalwart Chuang Chih-Yuan in an entertaining, but close encounter (4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).

Cassin claims stunning victory (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

“It was a very good match with a lot of amazing points. I think we have a very similar game all in all, we hold the backhand and we both have strong forehands that we are looking to win the points with. At the start, I played more down the line than cross court so my forehand was really effective… Also, my serves were a very effective and good combination of spin. I had to take the time out after the big point as I felt I needed to get ready for the last few points.” Alexandre Cassin

Darko Jorgic ends Adam Szudi’s run

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 4

Darko Jorgic was not intimidated by the support for home boy Adam Szudi as the Slovenian put up a good fight, despite losing the first game in a close contest. The 2020 ITTF Europe Top 16 finalist ensured his place in the main draw with a 4-2 triumph (10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-3).

Jakub Dyjas’s recent form continues to see him through as the Polish competitor breezed into the main draw with a 4-1 victory (11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 13-11) over India’s Harmeet Desai.

Benedikt Duda maintains clean sheet

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 4

Benedikt Duda extended his clean sheet at the Hungarian Open – despite being tested by Russia’s Kirill Skachkov in the first game, the German zoomed into the main draw with a straight games win (14-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5).

Another 4-0 win for Benedikt Duda (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

Panagiotis Gionis’ experience proved vital for the Greek, who prevailed over Frenchman Stephane Ouaiche (11-3, 11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8).

Impressive display from Liu Xin

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round 3

Positioned at no.236 in the women’s world rankings list, Spain’s Liu Xin outperformed expectations to qualify for the main competition in Budapest with an outstanding 4-1 victory over World no.54 Cheng Hsien-Tzu (12-10, 11-3, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8).

Highs and lows for Japan

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round 3

Out of the six Japanese competitors in action in the 3.40pm session of play, three successfully qualified for the women’s singles competition. Surviving a stern test yesterday, Miyu Nagasaki looked significantly more composed as she stormed past Hong Kong China’s Lee Ho Ching (11-3, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7) while Honoka Hashimoto proved too strong for Slovak opponent Tatiana Kukulkova (11-5, 11-6, 11-3, 11-2).

Qualification secured for Miyu Nagasaki (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

The next Japanese victory also came with defeat as Saki Shibata got the better of fellow compatriot Sakura Mori (11-6, 11-7, 18-16, 11-8). Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin and Germany’s Shan Xiaona were responsible for Satsuki Odo and Miyuu Kihara’s respective exits.

“We have many many tournaments. It is hard to stay focused and play at your best all the time. I am very happy to have won this match because it was very tough mentally. Odo was mixing her serves very well, it was difficult to read whether she would play it short to my forehand or fast long to either corner. My backhand was working really well with pimples so that gave me confidence at 10-10 in the final game.” Yang Xiaoxin

Puerto Rican partnerships show their steel

Mixed Doubles: Preliminary Round 2

Both Puerto Rican partnerships taking part in the second preliminary round of the mixed doubles qualification event emerged victorious, but both pairs were forced to dig deep.

Down 1-2 on the scoreboard, Daniel Gonzalez and Melanie Diaz won back-to-back games to steal a 3-2 victory over Spain’s Jesus Cantero and Ana Garcia (2-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8) while Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz held their nerve to beat Belgium’s Florent Lambiet and Nathalie Marchetti (12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10).

Desai and Thakkar negotiate thriller

Men’s Doubles: Preliminary Round 2

India’s Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar have pulled through a tricky encounter in the second preliminary round of the men’s doubles event, needing a mini comeback and the full five-game distance to battle past Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Jon Persson (11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8).

“It was a very important victory for us, Truls is a very intelligent player so we knew before that was going to be a really hard and close match and we needed to stay focused and concentrated until the end. We won the first game, then we lost the next two – after we changed, we started to play a more long and open game because with the short receives and balls we lost a lot of points. In the fifth game, we were 4-8 down but we managed to change the score and win the match.”

Main draw awaits India’s Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

Joining Desai and Thakkar in the main draw is another Indian pair in Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who recovered from a slow start to beat Turkey’s Ibrahim Gunduz and Abdullah Yigenler (9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4).

German combinations reach main draw

Women’s Doubles: Preliminary Round 2

Nina Mittelham and Shan Xiaona have successfully qualified for the women’s doubles main draw following another strong outing in the two-day qualification tournament, beating Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Aneta Siruckova in straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-9).

Germany experienced another victory over on table 8 as Chantal Mantz and Wan Yuan also only required three games to see off French opponents Stephanie Loeuillette and Audrey Zarif (11-7, 11-7, 11-4).

Gardos shows no signs of slowing down

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 3

Robert Gardos is on a rampage here in Budapest, with the manner of his wins until now in qualifying. The Austrian veteran just flew past Portugal’s Diogo Chen in a 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) win.

Robert Gardos to make the main event? (Photo by Richard Kalocsai)

Meanwhile there was a seven-game thriller between Alexander Shibaev and Slovenia’s Deni Kozul, where the Russian came out on top. Winning 4-3 (4-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11), Shibaev really pulled out all the tricks in the box to make an amazing comeback from being 0-3 down.

“My partnership with my coach Polina Mikhailova for the match was great. She kept me going and she always gave the right piece of advice. Being 0-3 down and 4-8 down was not so easy to turn around, it may not have happened without her!” Alexander Shibaev

Home crowd celebrates as Szudi fights back

Taking on Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko in the 10.40am session, the host nation’s very own Adam Szudi picks up a massive win (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10) to move one step closer to the main event:

“At the start of the match, I think I was trying too hard and trying to play everything to perfection, I put too much pressure on myself. From the third game onwards I focused more on placement and getting my forehand in as early as I could, that worked and I could recover my deficit so the score was level at 2-2… Mentally I was stronger today in every crucial part of the game especially in the deciding last game.” Adam Szudi

Kallberg in the clear

Men’s Singles: Preliminary Round 3

Anton Kallberg had a swift run out this morning in Budapest, needing five games to win against Ukraine’s Kou Lei, after he lost the opening game. Winning 4-1 (6-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-2, 11-6), the Swedish star was strong in his forehands, and used his wingspan better around the table than his opponent.

“This was the very first time I beat him. I have just played my game safe and with not much risk controlling every shot with quality and this was enough today. I don’t think this was this best match of his life, but I am glad I am through to the next round.” Anton Kallberg

Anton Kallberg (pictured) gets the better of Kou Lei in Budapest (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)

Over at table 3, Japan’s Yuki Hirano needed to dig deep against Slovakian Lubomir Pistej as he won 4-2 (11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-1, 10-12, 11-3). There were certain moments where it looked like Pistej might make a comeback, but Hirano was quick to avert that possibility.

“It was a really hard and close match”

Turkey’s Ozge Yilmaz picked up a fantastic 4-3 win over Amelie Solja in the 9.50am session of play (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6) and following the match the victor revealed her secret to success:

“It was a really hard and close match for me. She had a different style but liked to play against pimples, so it wasn’t a disadvantage. I tried to stay focused on the whole match. In the seventh game, I was 4-2 down but then I changed my serves, I only served short to her forehand and I used a lot of spin for the next ball.” Ozge Yilmaz

Batra reaches the final hurdle

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round 2

Manika Batra found her form at the right time, seeing off the challenge of Italy’s Jamila Laurenti in a 4-1 (9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4) win at the Budapest Olympic Hall, despite losing the first game.

For two Japanese athletes it was a quick outing, as Saki Shibata and Sakura Mori beat Swiss Rachel Moret (11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5) and France’s Laura Gasnier (11-8, 11-2, 11-3, 11-5) respectively, both in straight sets.

Manika Batra at it again. (Photo by Richard Kalocsai)
Strong start for Nina

Women’s Singles: Preliminary Round 2

Germany’s Nina Mittelham was in a bit of a hurry as she coasted to a 4-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4) win over Thailand’s Nanthana Komwong with efficiency in her shot-play.

Miyuu Kihara also had a quiet start to the day, with a routine straight games victory (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6) over Serbian Izabela Lupulesku, taking her no more than 21 minutes.

Who will reach the main event?
World Tour 2020 Hungarian Open Budapest

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Day 4 - 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open

Match Highlights