02 Nov 2021

India’s Payas Jain was dealt an unthinkable opening day exit at WTT Youth Contender Szombathely 2021. Crowned Under-17 Boys’ Singles champion at WTT Youth Series events in Otocec, Tunis and Muscat, but in form Jain won’t experience the same luxury in Hungary following his shock departure.

by Simon Daish

Problems began to arise for Jain in his second group fixture against Colombia’s Alex Federico Otalvaro Garcia, who narrowly lost out to the top-ranked competitor in five games (12-14, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8). Jain was stretched the full distance again in the Round of 32, with Australia’s Finn Luu putting up a valiant effort (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9). However, Jain’s luck eventually ran out as Singapore’s Izaac Quek Yong stepped up to beat the Indian star to a place in the semi-final line-up (11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9).

“I played really well, like someone who had nothing to lose, and it worked out in the end. I was able to focus perfectly at every 9-9 situation, which I think was the most important. I will play the Under-15s group stage as well as the Under-17s quarter-finals. I would like to keep utilising this playstyle and manage myself through the group stage, then hopefully I won’t underperform in the Under-17 quarter-finals,” said Izaac Quek Yong

Another key player in the title race also fell on the opening day, with Iran’s Navid Shams exiting to Czech Republic’s Vit Kadlec (13-11, 11-9, 11-9). The latter player then went on to see off Spain’s Daniel Berzosa (11-8, 11-9, 11-9) to reach the last eight. Two representatives from Latin America remain in the hunt, with Argentina’s Tomas Sanchi and Peru’s Carlos Fernandez toppling German opponents Vincent Senkbeil (9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-9) and Matthias Danzer (11-6, 11-6, 11-8).

“Unfortunately, I hit my racket on the table, which made the edge come off the rubbers. My wrist pain was really sharp at the moment, but I could bear the pain and play as though nothing had happened. I would like to continue this solid performance and not slow down even for a minute. I hope to win the tournament, but it’s too early to say that. I am focusing on the quarter-finals and aim to make the semis,” said Carlos Fernandez

Italy’s Francesco Trevisan stole the show on day one’s Under-13 Boys’ Singles action, lighting up the top group with a perfect record of three wins from three matches. Trevisan couldn’t have asked for a better start as he opened his account with back-to-back 3-0 successes against Czech Republic’s Tobias Fabian (11-6, 11-7, 11-2) and Austria’s Bela Csomor (11-3, 11-6, 11-1). The 11-year-old star then followed up with an extraordinary display to stun title favourite Botond Zoltan Varga 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7), securing a BYE to the last eight in the process.

“I am very happy. The strategy we thought about was a game-changer. At the beginning of the match, I played mostly for the backhand, but then I changed to playing one for the backhand followed by one for the forehand. I am aiming to win the tournament,” said Francesco Trevisan

Not the group outcome Varga was searching for, but the Hungarian put the result to the back of his mind ahead of a crucial Round of 16 tie. Taking on Martin Slany, ranked fourth, Varga outperformed his Czech counterpart across three games (11-7, 13-11, 11-8) to set up a quarter-final meeting with another top six-ranked opponent in Slovakia’s Pavol Kokavec.

“I beat my first two opponents with solid performances, but I played a little weaker in the last match of the group stage against Francesco, who was stronger. He was playing really well, and I was stressed because he seemed like a player I had to beat. Under this pressure, I couldn’t win the match. I hope to avenge my defeat to Francesco,” said Botond Zoltan Varga

Second-ranked entry Mark Gergely experienced a shock opening day elimination after the host nation hopeful suffered three group defeats. However, the next highest-ranked player remains in contention, with India’s Atherva Gupta topping group three before winning his Round of 16 encounter against Montenegro’s Jaksa Krivokapic (11-6, 11-5, 11-8).

On Tuesday, the action resumes from 0900 local time with group fixtures from the Under-11, Under-15 and Under-19 Boys’ Singles events dominating the agenda through to 1630. Then, from 1700 onwards, the debate is settled in the Under-13 and Under-17 events, with the eight remaining players on both fronts fighting over the first two trophies up for grabs in Szombathely.

For more details on WTT Youth Contender Szombathely, click here.

General News Payas Jain Carlos Fernandez Izaac Quek Yong Francesco Trevisan Botond Zoltan Varga

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