Lee Sangsu Suffers Surprise First Round Exit
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Lee Sangsu beaten by Kirill Skachkov Photo By: Rémy Gros

Champion Five Years Ago, Lee Sangsu Suffers Surprise First Round Exit

Champion Five Years Ago, Lee Sangsu Suffers Surprise First Round Exit
Courtesy of ITTF

Korea’s Lee Sangsu, the one previous Men’s Singles winner on duty at this year’s 2016 ITTF World Tour Polish Open, when he beat Russia’s Alexander Shibaev in the final in 2011, suffered a shock opening round defeat on the afternoon of Friday April 22nd.

Required to compete in the qualification stage of proceedings, Kirill Skachov extracted revenge for the reverse his compatriot had suffered five years earlier; he accounted for the Korean, the no.6 seed, in six games (12-10, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6).

Bleak Year 
It is very much a return to winning ways for the 28-year-old Russian who has endured a bleak 12 months.

One year ago in April 2015, he was listed at no.49 on the Men’s World Ranking list in April 2015; currently he is at no.105.

Robert Floras Flies Polish Flag 
A surprise defeat for Lee Sangsu; there was also a surprise defeat for Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi, the no.16 seed, who is enduring a torrid time at the moment. Last week at the ITTF-Asia Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, it was defeat after defeat as he failed to book his Rio de Janeiro ticket.

He was beaten by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding seventh game by the host nation’s Robert Floras (11-5, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 13-11).

“During the seventh game I was fighting myself, I knew that I must not play too strongly against”, said Robert Floras. “I really found it difficult to find a rhythm to my play but overall I have to be pleased with how I played.”

Notable Names Stumble 
Defeats for two seeds as matters progressed in the lower half of the draw in the first round of the Men’s Singles event; they were not alone, four more notable names stumbled.

Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.21 seed and Germany’s Steffen Mengel, the no.24 seed, both suffered at the hands of Japan. Gustavo Tsuboi was beaten by Japan’s Kenji Matsudaira (9-11, 14-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8); Steffen Mengel by Taku Takakiwa (1-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 13-11);

Likewise the Czech Republic’s Dmitrij Prokopcov, the no.23 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Fabian Akerström (14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6); while for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An, Tristan Flore of France signaled the end of the road (7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6).

Prominent Names Progress 
Meanwhile, amongst the illustrious names in the lower half of the draw in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event; there were successes for Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Maharu Yoshimura in addition to Korea’s Jung Youngsik.

Jun Mizutani, the no.2 seed, beat Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa (11-4, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6), Jung Youngsik, the no.4 seed, accounted for Frenchman Alexandre Cassin (11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4) while Maharu Yoshimura, the no.7 seed, overcame Russia’s Vasily Lakeev (7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4).

Visit the Official 2016 ITTF World Tour Polish Open competition page to follow complete coverage.

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