(by Steve Hopkins)
Day 2 Highlights:
USA’s Kanak Jha dominated Andrej Gacina to win his second match and advance to the Final 32. Jha was the only American to make the Round of 64. Jha may benefit from an upset today, as Korea’s Lee Sangsu fell to Belgium’s Martin Allegro – meaning Jha’s next match will be against World No. 122 Allegro, and not World No. 20 Lee. Its dangerous to look ahead, but in a draw filled with top players, Jha’s path also improved when the top seed in his quarter of the draw, Tomokazu Harimoto fell today. If Jha keeps winning, he would be the higher ranked player in his next two matches (a path that could lead to the Quarterfinals).
Fan Zhendong had no trouble in his opening match, topping Amir Hossein Hodaei 4-0 – Zhendong will face Emmanuel Lebesson Thursday afternoon in the Round of 32. The biggest surprise of the day was Harimoto, the second seed lost 4-3 to Jakum Dyjas. Other players who had byes on the first day struggled today as well. Lee Sangsu fell 4-0 to Martin Allegro, Mattias Falck fell 4-3 and to Alexandre Cassin. Two heavily favored Chinese players squeaked by with 4-3 wins, Liang Jingkun barely topped Germany’s Dang Qiu and Ling Gaoyuan needed all seven games to beat Anton Kallberg.
Timo Boll and Lin Yun-Ju had dominating first match wins. Boll defeated Zhou Qihao 4-1, and Lin had a 4-0 win over Sweden’s Jon Persson. Key Thursday matchups include Fan Zhendong versus Lebesson, Liang Jingkun versus Benedikt Duda, and Patrick Franziska versus Truls Moregard.
Lily Zhang and Amy Wang both advanced to the Round of 32 today. Lily logged a relatively easy 4-2 win over Andrea Todorovic, and Amy dominated Sibel Altinkaya 4-0. Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz also advanced with a 4-0 win over Tatiana Kukulkova. The top seeds in the women’s event proceeded as expected with Chen Meng, Jeon Jihee, Kasumi Ishikawa, Cheng I-Ching, Wang Manyu, Mima Ito, Hina Hayata, Wang Yidi, Feng Tianwei, and Sun Yingsha all advancing. That is, all of the women with byes on Day 1, advanced easily on Day 2.
Both of the American/Chinese Mixed Doubles Teams will be in action on Thursday morning, with Lin Gaoyuan and Lily Zhang facing off against Germany’s Qiu/Mittelham team at 9:30am (Central), and Wang Manyu and Kanak Jha taking on Pistej/Balazova immediately after at 10:10. More doubles matches of local interest tomorrow include the Sung Sisters (USA’s Joanna and Rachel Sung) facing Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova at 11:50a, the Puerto Rican Team of Melanie and Adriana Diaz will face the Korean Team of Hyojoo Choi and Zion Lee at 11:10a.
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