Feeling Good, Panagiotis Gionis Causes Major Third Round Upset
Courtesy of ITTF
A place booked in Rio de Janeiro, following success at the ITTF-European Olympic Qualification Tournament staged in late April in the west coast Swedish town of Halmstad, Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, was the player to capture the biggest scalp in the in the third round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Zagreb Open on Friday May 27th.
The no.12 seed, he combined solid defense with occasional devastating forehand attacking strokes to beat Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting in a closely contested six games encounter (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).
“I feel very good in Zagreb from first match and victory over Japanese player Asuka Machi”, said Panagiotis Gionis, who the previous day had accounted for Asuka Machi (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7) and João Geraldo (11-9, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7).
“This match against Wong Chun Ting was the most difficult so far”, added Panagiotis Gionis. “Of course, it’s great to beat a player who is number eight in the world but he was not so good against defense and I won some easy points; that gave me a great deal of self-confidence.”
Steffen Mengel and Ho Kwan Kit
Success against expectations for Panagiotis Gionis; it was the same for Germany’s Steffen Mengel and Wong Chun Ting’s colleague, Ho Kwan Kit.
Steffen Mengel, the no.25 seed, beat Korea’s Lee Sangsu, the no.5 seed (5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5); Ho Kwan Kit, the no.17 seed, defeated Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, the no.8 seed (11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 13-11, 13-11).
Meanwhile, in the remaining contests it was success as status advised.
Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the top seed, accounted for Denmark’s Jonathan Groth (12-10, 11-4, 11-2, 11-3); Jun Mizutani, the no.2 seed, overcame Qatar’s Li Ping, the no.10 seed (3-11, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8, 15-13). Similarly, Korea’s Jung Youngsik, the no.4 seed, defeated Poland’s Jakub Dyjas, the no.13 seed (11-2, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8).
In a similar vein, Joo Saehyuk also from Korea and the no.6 seed, defeated Germany’s Patrick Franziska (7-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7, 3-11, 11-4); while Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.7 seed, ended the hopes of Frenchman Simon Gauzy, the no.9 seed (5-11, 4-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-4, 11-8).
At the quarterfinal stage Chuang Chih-Yuan opposes Tiago Apolonia, Steffen Mengel plays Jung Youngsik; in the opposite half of the draw it is Panagiotis Gionis versus Hi Kwan Kit, Jun Mizutani versus Joo Saehyuk.
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