24 Aug 2021

Winner on the 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit in Amman, India’s Snehit Suravajjula was very much the player centre stage on Monday 23rd August at the 2021 ITTF Czech International Open in Olomouc; now 21 years old, he caused the day’s biggest upset.

In the opening round of the men’s singles event, he beat England’s Sam Walker, the no.2 seed (5-11, 3-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall

Success against the odds for Snehit Suravajjula but he was not alone; of the 16 first round matches, no less than eight witnessed defeats for seeded players.

India was very much in the thick of matters. Conversely, Jeet Chandra was beaten by Frenchman, Alexandre Robinot, the no.8 seed (13-11, 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-2); Mudit Dani lost Slovakia’s Adam Klajber (11-4, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8).

Success for Alexandre Robinot and there were more notable opening round men’s singles successes for France. Bastien Rembert, accounted for Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodei, the no.10 seed (11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 4-11, 11-7), Lilian Bardet overcame Luxembourg’s Eric Glod, the no.14 seed (11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6), Leo de Nodrest ended the hopes of the Czech Republic’s Jiri Martinko, the no.16 seed (4-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-7).

Adding to the upsets, the host nation’s Radek Skala defeated Aleksandr Khanin of Belarus, the no.9 seed (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 5-11, 11-8), Hungary’s Csaba Andras, stifled the expectations of Luxembourg’s Luka Mladenovic, the no.15 seed (5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4).

Surprise outcomes but other than for Sam Walker, the elite names reserved second round places; India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sweden’s Truls Moregard and Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa, duly advanced.

Different scenario

Somewhat differently in the opening round of the women’s singles event, the upsets were few and far between; Egypt’s Yousra Helmy and the Czech Republic’s Katerina Tomanovska being the noted names to depart. Katerina Tomanovska, the no.16 seed, lost to Slovakia’s Emma Labosova (7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-6, 11-9); Yousra Helmy, the no.6 seed, was beaten by Darya Kisel of Belarus 11-5, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).

Notably the respective top four names, Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, Chile’s Paulina Vega, Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Poland’s Natalia Bajor, all advanced safely to round two.

Quarter-final places booked

Meanwhile, in the opening round of the men’s doubles, Truls Moregard and Sam Walker, the top seeds, booked quarter-final places, as did Alexandra Khanin alongside Belarus colleague Pavel Platonov, the no.2 seeds.

However, there were opening round upsets. Slovakia’s Adam Klajber and Filip Delincak, the no.4 seeds, lost to Bastien Rembert and Vincent Picard (11-2, 14-12, 11-9); Eric Glod and Luka Mladenovic, the no.5 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Leo de Nodrest and Lilian Bardet (11-2, 14-12, 11-9).

Similarly, Slovakia’s Samuel Kaluzny and Samuel Novota, the no.8 seeds, departed proceedings when opposing Switzerland’s Cedric Tschanz and Pedro Osiro (15-13, 13-11, 5-11, 11-8).

More surprises

Progress for the most prominent pairs in the men’s doubles event; it was the same in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles but true to the day’s tradition, there were upsets.

In the women’s doubles, Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova and Ema Labosova, the top seeds, duly advanced to the quarter-finals, as did Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn and Katarzyna Wegrzyn, the next in line. The pairs to experience unexpected defeats were Sweden’s Christina Källberg and Rebecca Muskantor, the no.6 seeds, alongside Hungary’s Bernadett Balint and Mercedes Nagyvaradi, the no.11 seeds.

Christina Källberg and Rebecca Muskantor suffered an opening round defeat at the hands of England’s Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos (11-6, 11-3, 11-2); Bernadett Balint and Mercedes Nagyvaradi lost to the Czech Republic’s Krystina Mikulcova and Tamara Tomanova (9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8, 12-10).

Similarly, in the mixed doubles opening round, India’s Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison upset the order by ousting Pavel Platonov and Katsiaryna Baravok of Belarus, the no.5 seeds (11-3, 11-5, 11-6); Sam Walker and Tin-Tin Ho overcame Slovakia’s Samuel Kaluzny and Ema Labosova, the no.6 seeds (11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 15-12). Not to be upstaged, Ukraine’s Anton Limonov and Solomiya Brateyko ended the hopes of the host nation’s Jiri Martinko and Katrina Tomanovska.

Alexandr Khanin and Belarus colleague, Daria Trigolos, the top seeds, duly booked quarter-final places as did India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath, the no.2 seeds.

Title decided

Play continues on Tuesday 24th August, the day on which the destination of the mixed doubles title will be decided; the men’s doubles and women’s doubles finalists will be known as well as the men’s singles and women’s singles finalists.

General News 2021 ITTF Czech International Open 2021 Czech International Open

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