Bulgaria Open: Two semi-finals for Bernadette SZOCSPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open
Champion of the 2017 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open, German star Dimitrij OVTCHAROV secured his place into the quarter-finals of the 2019 edition of this tournament in Panagyurishte, as he beat his compatriot Ruwen FILUS in straight games. Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS progressed among the best eight without fight, after withdrawal of Croatia’s Tomislav PUCAR.
The 2015 European Championships runner-up FREITAS will face Chinese Tapiei’s CHUANG Chih-Yuan who eliminated England’s Liam PITCHFORD after full seven games. Actual world no. 12 PITCHFORD created biggest upset in the 2018 edition, as he overcame Olympic and World champion MA Long in the opening round. This time Nigeria’s Quadri ARUNA beat the odds, as he prevailed against Hong Kong’s WONG Chun Ting after seven sets to set the quarter-final clash with former Asian champion Jun MIZUTANI of Japan. MIZUTANI’s compatriot Tomokazu HARIMOTO, no. 1 seed, beat Chinese Tapiei’s CHEN Chien-An in six games.
Slovenian rising star Darko JORGIC demonstrate his talent against China’s ZHAO Zihao, but lost in six games.
“ZHAO Zihao was better today. I will try to beat him next time and make it to the quarter-finals. This is my best result on the World Tour. I’ve been playing really well in the last few events, beaten some good players in Australia. I think I’m really starting to play well on the World Tour, next is the Czech Open. I will try to do well to qualify and do better,” stated Darko JORGIC for ITTF website.
There won’t be European players in the Women’s Singles Round of 16, as Bernadete SZOCS of Romania lost to top seeded Kasumi ISHIKAWA in five games. But SZOCS had successful tournament in doubles event, as she reached two semi-finals, playing alongside Austria’s Sofia POLCANOVA (Women’s Doubles) and Ovidiu IONESCU (Mixed Doubles). In both occasions China’s pairs halted her way to the final.
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