Brian Afanador alone, surprise names reach penultimate round
(by Ian Marshall, Editor)
Crucial to Puerto Rican success earlier in the year in Barranquilla at the Central American and Caribbean Games, on Thursday 6th September, Brian Afanador reserved his place in the semi-final round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2018 Luxembourg Open
The no.2 seed, it was progress as expected in an event organised on a progressive knock-out formula; however, amongst the leading names he was very much alone.
he most unexpected name to book a last four place was that of the host country’s Irfan Cekic; no current world ranking, he exceeded all expectations.
He accounted for England’s Samuel Maybey, the no.25 seed (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-6) and India’s Mudit Dani, the no.10 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6) to make the quite ideal start. Increasingly confident, he overcame Andrei Labanau of Belarus, likewise a player with no current global status (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10), to reserve his place in the quarter-finals where he continued his outstanding form. He caused the biggest upset of the day, he overcame Switzerland’s Lionel Weber, the top seed (13-11, 11-7, 14-12, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6).
Success against the odds for Irfan Cekic; in the Men’s Singles event, it was the same for both Paul Lavergne and Simon Soderlund.
Paul Lavergne, the no.24 seed, accounted for Sweden’s Jonathan Thimion (10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5), before ousting Luxembourg’s Eric Glod (8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9) and Vadim Yarashenka of Belarus (11-6, 11-2, 11-9, 11-8) to reserve his place in the penultimate round. Neither Jonathan Thimion nor Vadim Yarashenka possess a current world ranking; Eric Glod was the no.3 seed.
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