(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Canadians maintain form, main draw places reserved
Imposing on the opening day of play in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Polish Open in Czestochowa, when they had both caused upsets by beating the highest rated players in their respective groups in the initial stage of proceedings, Canada’s Antoine Bernadet and Marko Medjugorac continued their good form on Thursday 5th October to maintain their unbeaten records and reserve first places.
Antoine Bernadet after having notably beaten Italy’s Matteo Mutti (11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9) concluded his first phase engagements with success against Iran’s Amir Hossein Hodaei (11-8, 11-7, 11-6); Marko Medjugorac, who had accounted for Japan’s Aoto Asazu (11-9, 11-9, 12-14, 11-9), overcame Ukraine’s Oleksandr Tymofieiev (10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6) to maintain his unblemished record.
Defeats for Matteo Mutti and Aoto Asazu but they were to prove their only defeats; on the second day of action both concluded their group phase contests in style to secure second places in their group and thus progressed to the main draw. In the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, players finishing in first and second positions in their respective groups advanced to the main draw.
Both accounted for Polish opposition. Matteo Mutti beat Pawel Pisazczatowski (11-2, 11-5, 11-6), Aoto Asazu overcame Kamil Kurowski (11-7, 11-6, 11-7).
Surprise first places, there were four more. Austria’s Narayan Kapolnek, Poland’s Marco Golla and Slovakia’s Tobor Spanik secured top positions in their respective groups against the odds, as did Sweden’s Malte Moregard.
Narayan Kapolnek finished ahead of Belgium’s Thibaut Darcis, the highest rated player in the group; a similar situation applying to Malte Moregard; Russia’s Lev Katsman, favourite for first place ended in runners up spot and thus advanced to the knock-out rounds.
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