APOLONIA upsets home player to move into last eightPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
Men`s 2017 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup in Antibes, France
The home crowd endured an evening of mixed emotions on Friday 3rd February, with one of their players heading home and another making the cut for the next round.
Simon GAUZY successfully negotiated a difficult tie against the runner up of last year’s tournament Joao MONTEIRO, but for Emmanuel LEBESSON there was disappointment.
Emerging as victor over the Frenchman was Tiago APOLONIA (11-6, 3-11, 11-5, 11-4) and after the conclusion of the tie APOLONIA stated his delight in making the next round.
“I’m very happy, I think I played really good today not only against LEBESSON but also in the games before. Of course against LEBESSON was a very important game still because I needed at least one game to qualify so it is a little bit of a special game, but I think I did a good job and I’m happy with my performance”, Tiago APOLONIA.
Alexander SHIBAEV stole the spotlight in Group D, when he eliminated the champion of the 2014 tournament Marcos FREITAS in a five game thriller and, despite his defeat to Sweden’s Kristian KARLSSON (11-13, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11), the other player to progress from the group is Andrej GACINA of Croatia.
“The win feels good, obviously I finished last in the group anyway but it was important to end the day with a victory. Of course I’m disappointed but it felt really good to be able to refocus and beat GACINA”, Kristian KARLSSON.
The top seed Dimitrij OVTCHAROV will continue his campaign in Antibes beyond the opening day after he saw off Denmark’s Jonathan GROTH in a tricky five games encounter to complete a clean sweep of victories in his group. OVTCHAROV will join Simon GAUZY in the quarter-finals.
Besides OVTCHAROV, the only other German Men’s Singles player to win at the event is Timo BOLL. In a similar fashion to his fellow countryman, BOLL also captured his third win of the day against former clubmate Panagiotis GIONIS and will be joined in the next round by his current clubmate Stefan FEGERL.