Top seeds in good shapePhoto: Alex LOMAEV
2017 STAG European Under 21 Championships
The second phase of the Men’s Singles Event at the 2017 STAG European Under 21 Championships brought many upsets.
In the first Group, with the top seeded Anton KALLBERG of Sweden, Tobias RASSMUSEN of Denmark was first in line to suffer against determined Swede (11-6, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7, 15-13). Although everyone expects Kalberg will continue in the same style, Tomasz KOTOWSKI of Poland had different plan. He beat the main favorite in five games (8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11) in next round.
“The key was to make no mistakes on the receive game. He plays unbelievable. So far we never played against each other, but I study his game on the You Tube,” said KATOWSKI, who previously lost his encounter against Tom JARVIS of England (11-6, 9-11, 0-11, 7-11, 8-11).
In the last round KALLBERG beat JARVIS and that launched him at the top position of the Group. With only one defeat JARVIS will follow him tomorrow in the Round of 16.
No. two seed Tomislav PUCAR of Croatia faced no difficulties against Patryk ZATOWKA of Poland (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9) on his first entrance to the playing box today.
“I expected I can beat him, it was good match for the start,” said PUCAR.
Pucar justified his reputation and recorded all three victories. Next in line to fall were Simon BERGLUND of Sweden and Alexandru MANOLE of Romania. ZATOWKA secured second place in the group.
Darko JORGIC of Slovenia seeded no. three beat Abdullah YINGLER of Turkey in the opening round.
“It is little bit strange to play within such system, with another round of group matches for the seeded players, but I do not expect any troubles on my path to the knock out phase tomorrow,” said JORGIC.
He continued in the same pace and succeeded against Marek BADOWSKI of Poland and Gleb SHAMRUK of Belarus. Marek is second.
Seeded no. 4 Elisa RANEFUR was forced to withdrew due the injury. He injured his hand this morning. Same fate, just a round later, faced Adama SZUDI of Hungary, who lost against Andreas LEVENKO, before he withdrew.
Deni KOZUL, another Slovenian representative booked his Top 16 place from the top in front of Anders LIND of Denmark.
In the Group where SZUDI was top seeded QIU Dang of Germany seized his opportunity. He will play tomorrow in the Round of 16 as a winner of the group. Ioannis SGOUROPOULOS of Greece is second.
Simon BERGLUND of Sweden beat Alexandru MANOLE of Romania (11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).
“I was forced to change the pace of the game, to use various tactics. It was difficult match,” admitted BERGLUND.
Seeded at the position no. 8 Tomas POLANSKY prevailed against Nandor ECSEKI of Hungary (11-4, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5).
“One of the biggest benefits here is the opportunity to practice in the same hall. I started from day two, but I am well prepared on the conditions; as well as all the players that have been played yesterday’s matches, “said POLANSKY. “Against ECSEKI I played twice before and two months ago I beat him easily, so it boosted my confidence before the start. I was not under pressure.”
From position no. one POLANSKY moved forward followed by ECSEKI.
The match between Rares SIPOS of Romani and Sadi ISMAILOV of Russia caught the most attention in the morning program. Sadi’s numerous supporters gave their best to push their favorite to the victory, but SIPOS was inspired (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11).
“I finished yesterday’s group stage on position no two with one defeat, but I was not unhappy with my performance. I can only congratulate Marek BADOWSKI on his excellent performance. The level of shape I showed yesterday gave me confidence today. I did not mind loud crowd. I love that kind of atmosphere. It inspires me. I enjoyed playing against Sadi,” said SIPOS.
Killian ORT of Germany, with all three victories booked his place in the Round of 16. SIPOS joined him.
His teammate Cristian PLETEA seeded no. 6, was forced to go full distance marathon against Aliaksandr KHANIN of Belarus; six games concluded by narrow margin (6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 12-10, 10-12, 15-17, 13-11).
“My confidence was the key point today. It was a long match, but I had a faith I can win it. I did not lose my grip and I gave my pest to impose my style of play. I did not want to give him chance to took the control over match,” said PLETEA.
However in the next round Martin ALLEGRO, who already beat Konstantin CHERNOV of Russia continued his winning row. He accounted on PLETEA (11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11)
Both ALLEGRO and PLETEA progressed further.