(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF)
The Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Series Slovenia Open is underway. The group qualifiers ended on Thursday and the knock out stages began on Friday.
USA’s Ye Tian held his position in the group stage – seeded second and finishing second. His loss to Thailand’s Tanviriyavechakul was extremely close. In fact, the total different in points over all five games was just 2 points. USA’s Kai Zhang was seeded third in his group, but upset India’s Siddhesh Pande to move up one spot. USA’s Nicholas Tio was seeded first in his group, but an upset to Laurens Devos of Belgium cost him the top position. None of the American men advanced to the Knock-out rounds.
Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez was seeded first and won two tight 3-2 games to hold that position and advance. Canada’s Marko Medjugorac was seeded first in his group, but fell out of contention when he was upset by Spain’s Joan Masip. Canada’s other player was Matthew Lehmann who was seeded third in his group and finished third.
The first two knock-out matches were played Friday. Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, who was seeded into the draw, won his first match over Joan Masip (4-1) before falling to Jakub Dyjas (4-0). The other North America to make the draw, Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez, fell to Tomislav Pucar in the opening round.
The Round of 16 will be played on Saturday. The final 16 pairings are Habesohn v. Lind, Badowski v. Pucar, Landrieu v. Dyjas, Ouaiche v. Yoshida, Jin v. Filus, Jouti v. Konecny, Pistej v. Sidorenko, and Szocs v. Wei.
USA’s Lily Zhang and Jennifer Wu both won their first knock-out stage matches. Zhang went on to defeat Hungary’s Nagyvaradi 4-1 in the Round of 32 as well. Wu fell to Japan’s Yubin Shin in her Round of 32 match. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz dominated both of her matches today to advance to the Round of 16. Diaz will face Lily Zhang with the winner moving on to the Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. Other high seeds left in the draw are Georgina Pota, Bruna Takahashi, Dora Madarasz, Wai Yam Minnie Soo, and Miyu Nagasaki.
The action continues on Saturday. Check in regularly with ButterflyOnline.com for updates throughout the event.