14 Oct 2021

A first appearance in an international tournament, proudly wearing the British shirt, the Union Jack emblazoned on the right sleeve; on Thursday 14th October it was a dream start for Andrew Guy at the ITTF Costa Brava Spanish Para Open 2021.

He booked his place in the semi-finals of men’s singles class 1-2 and thus on debut is guaranteed a medal.

by Ian Marshall

In his opening contest, he beat Hungary’s Endre Major, the no.2 seed (11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9), before accounting for Frenchman, Charlelie Arnaud (11-4, 11-8, 11-9) to secure group first place.

Endre Major duly overcame Charlelie Arnaud (11-3, 11-1, 11-4), thus securing runners up spot and a place in the main draw.

Throughout, in all events, players concluding the group phase in first and second positions advance to the knock-out stage.

A direct entry to the penultimate round, Andrew Guy now meets the winner of the quarter-final contest between Frenchman Julien Michaud and Spain’s Daniel Rodriguez.

Problems for Czech Republic

Likewise, in the men’s singles, for two further second seeded players, there were problems. The Czech Republic Jiri Zak and Tibor Chmeala experienced defeats.

Competing in class 5, Jiri Zak was beaten by Norway’s Sebastian Vegsund (11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9); in class 10, Tibor Chmeala lost to Poland’s Pawel Wlodyka (12-10, 11-4, 11-9).

Both Sebastian Vegsund and Pawel Wlodyka ended the day unbeaten to top their respective groups, for Jiri Zak and Tibor Chmeala it was second places.

Top seeds untroubled

Difficulties for second seeded players, not in the men’s singles for the top seeds.

Spain’s Roberto Rodriguez (class 3), Alberto Seoane (class 6) and Juan Perez (class 9) all ended the day unbeaten as did Poland’s Maksym Chudzicki (class 7) and Igor Misztal (class 10).

Similarly, it was a day without blemish for Frenchman, Benoît Besset (class 1-2), as it was for Norway’s Tommy Urhaug (class 5), Belgium’s Marc Ledoux (class 8) and Hungary’s Peter Palos (class 11).

Major upsets

Meanwhile, in the women’s singles competition, class 2-5 provided the biggest upsets.

Alexandra Saint Pierre of France finished ahead of Italy’s Allegra Magenta and top seed, Femke Cobben of the Netherlands; in the corresponding group, Russia’s Anastasia Puzanova beat Spain’s Cristina Rubio, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).

Anastasia Puzanova remained unbeaten to top the group, for Cristina Rubio it was second position.

Leading names progress

Surprise outcomes, not in class 6 nor in class 7-10. In the former, organised on a group basis, Poland’s Katarzyna Marszal and Great Britain’s Fliss Pickard remained unbeaten and now meet to determine top spot.

Notably, in the latter, Norway’s Aida Dahlen and Germany’s Marlene Reeg duly advanced to the semi-final round.

Play in the individual events concludes on Friday 15th October, the team competition ensues.

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