Portugal Open Update: Americans Through to Main Draw
(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
The preliminary rounds have concluded at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open and Team USA has logged solid results. Both Nikhil Kumar and Kai Zhang are through to the knock-out rounds. Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador is also through to the main draw. The top seeds are Omar Assar and Robert Gardos, and other recognizable names include Paul Drinkhall, Aleksander Karakasevic, Chien-An Chen, Emmanuel Lebesson, Tiago Apolonia, and Marcos Madrid.
To qualify for the main draw, players in the preliminary rounds were required to win two single elimination rounds. Nikhil Kumar opened with a 4-0 win over Salah Albalushi of the UAE and then qualified with a 4-2 win over Andrei Putuntica of Moldova. Kai Zhang opened with a 4-0 win over Jeet Chandra of India and then qualified with his 4-1 win over Alberto Lillo of Spain. USA’s Nicholas Tio won his opening match 4-1 over Jose Magalhaes of Portugal but fell just short in a 4-2 loss to Sadi Ismailov of Russia.
Puerto Rico’s Gabriel Perez lost his opening round to Yuma Tsuboi of Japan. Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez lost to Jiri Martinko of the Czech Republic. Canada’s Tommy Xu fell to Jordy Piccolin of France.
Matches in the main draw will begin on Friday. On the women’s side, this will include Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, USA’s Amy Wang.
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