Czech Open: Cristian PLETEA upsets Tomokazu HARIMOTOPhoto: Courtesy ITTF
2019 ITTF World Tour, Czech Open, Olomouc (20-25th August)
Romanian rising star Cristian PLETEA, actual world no. 115, created huge upset in the Round of 32 at the 2019 ITTF World Tour, Czech Open in Olomouc, as he eliminated no. 1 seed and actual world no. 5 Tomokazu HARIMOTO. Former European cadet champion and runner-up in junior days, the 19-year-old from the city of Constanta, prevailed against Japanese after full seven games, inspite of being two games behind - 4:3 (3:11, 7:11, 11:8, 7:11, 11:9, 11:9, 11:7).
“That is for sure the biggest win of my career. We have been playing against each other since we were juniors, which helped me today. I know his style and I felt he was a little bit nervous today. Also, I played really well today, my tactics were perfect. I was down 0-2 and 3-6 but I managed to win the game. Then I was 1-3 down but I was still fighting. I knew that it was not over. I started well in the fifth game then I also won the sixth. And in the seventh game, you never know what happens. I also felt big support from the spectators and I would like to thank them. I hope that tomorrow I will play well again,” stated Cristian PLETEA for ITTF website.
The opening round in Olomouc was successful for several other European players, including last year’s runner-up Marcos FREITAS of Portugal, who once again beat Japan’s player Koki NIWA (world no. 10), like he did recently at Bulgaria Open. France's Simon GAUZY overcame Masataka MORIZONO after full seven games (last one 14:12), while German star Timo BOLL defeated China XIA Yizheng 4:2.
Thursday was a busy day for German players, as Dimitrij OVTCHAROV beat XUE Fei 4:2 to set up the clash against his close friend and teammate from Fakel Gazprom Orenburg, Vladimir SAMSONOV who prevailed against OVTCHAROV's compatriot Ruwen FILUS in five sets. Patrick FRANZISKA needed to fight play full seven games to beat Sweden’s Anton KALLBERG, whilst Russia’s Alexander SHIBAEV prevailed against England’s Liam PITCHFORD.
Regarding Women’s Singles Round of 32, Austria’s Sofia POLCANOVA overcame CHEN Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei, reversing score from 0:3 to 4:3, while Hana MATELOVA brought joy to home fans by winning against Korea’s player KIM Haeyong. No. 1 seed Kasumi ISHIKAWA was extended to full distance by CHENG Hsien-Tzu.
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