by Simon Daish
Initially required to negotiate the qualification rounds, no.35 seed Lubomir Jancarik has outperformed expectations in the Polish capital and his latest win will live long in the memory.
Taking on a player seeded 30 positions above him and one of France’s leading competitors in Simon Gauzy, Jancarik wasn’t at all fazed by the challenge ahead of him, needing just four games to overcome the 2016 European Championships silver medallist (11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-4).
“I must say I really appreciate this victory against him because he’s such a great player. I’m very happy with my game today, I think I played very, very well and I deserved to win. I played well from the first point to the last point and I just kept the motivation going.” Lubomir Jancarik
Eighth seed Darko Jorgic joins Gauzy on the list of high-profile casualties after the Slovenian competitor failed to convert a substantial lead in his meeting with no. 21 seed Anton Källberg of Sweden (7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8). Another Swede who caused quite the stir was Truls Moregard with the 19-year-old showing great patience and resilience to see off Greek defensive expert Panagiotis Gionis, 41 (7-11, 12-10, 11-2, 14-16, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).
The surprise runner-up three years back in Alicante, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu remains in the men’s singles hunt following a 4-2 victory over Italian opponent Niagol Stoyanov (11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6). Like Stoyanov, another qualifier in Vladislav Ursu was shown the exit in the last 32 as German no.4 seed Patrick Franziska showed the brave Moldovan no mercy (12-10, 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 11-3).
Aside from Simon Gauzy and Darko Jorgic’s shock exits, on the whole, top-seeded entries enjoyed another successful round.
Defending champion Timo Boll was out on table a little longer than he would have hoped, but nonetheless emerged victorious over a dangerous opponent in England’s Paul Drinkhall 4-2 (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8), while second seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov accounted for Croatia’s Andrej Gacina by the same margin (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5). Top seed Mattias Falck was rarely troubled in his encounter with Turkey’s Abdullah Yigenler (11-5, 10-12, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7), and moves through to the Round of 16 alongside Austria’s Robert Gardos, no.6 seed, Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, no.7 seed and fellow Swede Kristian Karlsson, seeded ninth.
For more information regarding the Liebherr 2020 ITTF European Championships visit the official tournament website at https://www.ettu.org/en/events/ittf-european-individual-championships-/general-information/