22 Feb 2020

Titles to their credit but never in Budapest, top seeds in the respective men’s singles and women’s singles events, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Mima Ito, duly negotiated the second round of proceedings at the 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open on Friday 21st February.

However, they were not necessarily the players to attract the attention; Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Germany’s Nina Mittelham somewhat stole the limelight.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Likewise, India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran raised the eyebrows.

Seeds experience different outcomes

The no.11 seed, Kristian Karlsson recorded a second round men’s singles win against Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.2 seed (11-8, 13-11, 9-11, 7-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7) and thus reversed the decision of one year ago when the pair had met in the same round.

Meanwhile as expected, Tomokazu Harimoto, the top seed, beat Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the no.14 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8) to reserve his place in round three.

Liam Pitchford ended the progress of Qiu Dang (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Likewise, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and England’s Liam Pitchford, justified their seeded positions as both ended the progress of qualifiers. Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.3 seed, beat Poland’s Jakub Dyjas (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10); Liam Pitchford, the no.9 seed, overcame Qiu Dang, like Dimitrij Ovtcharov from Germany (11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7).

Qualifiers progress at expense of qualifiers

In the men’s singles, required to qualify, Germany’s Benedikt Duda beat Panagiotis Gionis of Greece (11-8, 11-1, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7), the Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek accounted Japan’s Shunsuke Togami (11-9, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10).

Likewise, also from Japan, Yukiya Uda overcame colleague Takuya Jin (4-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8), Austria’s Robert Gardos ended the hopes of Frenchman Alexandre Cassin (12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5).

Yukiya Uda meets Robert Gardos in the quarter-finals (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Moreover, a qualifier is destined to reach the final; in the quarter-finals Robert Gardos meets Yukiya Uda.

Japan asserts authority

Four Japanese names progressed to the quarter-finals of the women’s singles event, Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano and Hitomi Sato.

In the second round Mima Ito beat Ukraine qualifier, Margaryta Pesotska (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5; Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed, overcame Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.9 seed (11-5, 11-9, 14-12, 7-11, 12-10).

Likewise, Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed ended the hopes of India’s Manika Batra, also a qualifier (11-9, 11-1, 11-7, 11-7), Hitomi Sato, the no.6 seed, overcame colleague Miyu Kato, the no.10 seed (12-10, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8).

Miu Hirano ended the hopes of Manika Batra (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Similarly there was success for Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seed and for Doo Hoi Kem, the no.5 seed. In the second round of the women’s singles event, Cheng I-Ching beat German qualifier, Shan Xiaona (11-3, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5), Doo Hoi Kem overcame compatriot, Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.13 seed (11-3, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9).

Germany keeps European hopes alive

Nina Mittelham and Han Ying excelled for Germany in the second round of the women’s singles event. Nina Mittelham beat Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, a player also required to qualify and the runner up at the recent CCB Europe Top 12 in Montreux; she prevailed in a hard fought six games duel (3-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8).

Han Ying safe and secure (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Resolute, playing fellow defender, Han Ying, the no.14 seed, eventually succeeded in a gruelling seven games duel against Japanese qualifier Honoka Hashimoto (9-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-2, 18-16, 5-11, 13-11).

Notably Nina Mittelham in the only player required to qualify to progress to the women’s singles quarter-finals.

Indians on mission

Not seeded, India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran booked their place in the men’s doubles final; at the quarter-final stage they accounted for the host nation’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 11-7, 11-8), before ousting Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds (7-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9).

In the final they meet Germany’s Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska, the no.2 seeds; no pair from India has ever won a men’s doubles title on the ITTF World Tour.

Saharath Kamal Achanta (foreground) and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in search of a first for India (Photo: Richard Kalocsai)


Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa emerged somewhat surprise women’s doubles finalists; the no.4 seeds, at the semi-final stage they beat Thailand’s Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut, the no.6 seeds (11-6, 12-14, 11-3, 11-9), the quarter-final winners on opposition to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu (11-1, 11-1, 10-12, 13-11).

Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Ken, the top seeds, beat Serbian qualifiers Aleksandar Karakasevic and Izabela Lupulesku (12-10, 11-3, 15-13) to reach the mixed doubles final. They meet Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja, the no.7 seeds, the penultimate round winners in opposition to Indian qualifiers Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra.

World Tour 2020 Hungarian Open Kristian Karlsson Nina Mittelham

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Day 4 - 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open

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