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Top Five Hold the Aces, Five of Next Six Dealt Losing Hand in Las Vegas
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor


No main draw place for Zhang Yahao, two defeats on opening day end ambitions  Photo By: Steve Hopkins

07/04/2013        GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour, US Open, Americas Challenge Series (Click here to access this section)

The names of the five highest World ranked players on duty in the first stage of the Men’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour United States Open in Las Vegas, duly appeared in first place when the group phase matches concluded on Wednesday 3rd July 2013.

It was pole position for Wang Qingliang and Timothy Wang of the United States, as it was for India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaren, Japan’s Tatsuo Seyama and Venezuela’s Jonathan Pino.

However, in the next six groups, only one of the names predicted to finish in top place achieved the honour.

Canadian Impressive
Canada’s Xavier Therien, the tenth highest rated player on duty secured first place in his group in an emphatic manner; he beat Jersey’s Joshua Band (11-6, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5) and Basir Sabeti of the United States (11-6, 11-4, 11-4, 11-1).

Elimination for Americans
However, for the other names of note, it was second place for three incumbents, third place and elimination for two.

The consolation for those who finished in runners up spot was a place in the first round proper. Players finishing in first and second places in each group progress to the main draw.

It was second place for India’s Jubin Kumar and the Dominican Republic duo of Juan Wila and Emil Santos; for the United States pairing of Adam Hugh and Zhang Yahao it was third place and farewell.

Games Ratio Decides
Jubin Kumar had his money’s worth on the opening day, he played 14 games; he lost to Japan’s Ayumu Hokkedo in seven games (11-5, 11-5, 14-16, 3-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7), before beating Zhang Xiangjing of the United States in a full distance duel (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8).

Entering the concluding match of the group it appeared that Ayumu Hokkedo was the favourite to win the group; in fact he finished in third place! He was beaten by Zhang Xiangjing in four straight games (11-7, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6).

Thus on games ratio is was first place for Zhang Xiangjing (7:4), second spot for Jubin Kumar (7:7) with Ayumu Hokkedo eliminated (4:7).

Similar for Juan Vila
Second place for Jubin Kumar it was the same for Juan Vila and Emil Santos.

Juan Vila, after losing to Anthony Zhao of the United States in seven games (7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8) emulated the feat of Jumar Kubin; he recovered to win his second match by a similar margin the defeat experienced. He overcame Romania’s Alexandru Gheorghe by the minimal two point margin in the crucial deciding game (11-5, 11-13, 11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 11-3, 12-10).

Anthony Zhao duly finished in first place in the group; in the concluding match of the itinerary, he accounted for Alexandru Gheorghe (11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7).

Reversed Opening Decision
Equally, Emil Santos reversed his opening match decision; on his first visit to the table he suffered defeat at the hands of China’s Li Tianyu in five games (15-13, 6-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8) but then immediately recovered to beat the host nation’s Albert Zhang with the loss of just one game (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-1, 11-5).

Li Tianyu finished in first place in the group; in the concluding contest he received a walk-over against Albert Zhang.

No Recovery
Meanwhile for Adam Hugh and Zhang Yahao there was no recovery.

Beaten in his opening match by China’s Yang Ce in six games (9-11, 11-3, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9), on his second visit to the table he suffered a seven games reverse in opposition to Lebanon’s Alfred Najem (11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-13, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5).

Yang Ce duly finished in first place in the group; in the concluding contest he overcame Alfred Najen in four straight games 11-9, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10).

Same Fate for Zhang Yahao
Third place for Adam Hugh, it was the same fate for Zhang Yahao; he suffered defeats at the hands of Canada’s Liu Dongri (4-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-8) and in opposition to Japan’s Takanori Shimoyama (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6).

Takanori Shimoyama concluded matters in first place in the group, he beat Liu Dongri in five games (11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Excelled Expectations
Impressive performances by the likes of Yang Ce and Takanori Shimoyama; also lower down the batting order there were several other surprise names to emerge in first places in their respective groups.

Guyana’s Paul David, Japan’s Yuya Mizuno, Korea’s Yoo Changjao and the host nation’s Yuan Xiaojie all excelled expectations to top their groups as did China’s Tao Wenzhang.

Main Draw Commences
Play in the main draw commences on Thursday 4th July.

Live on YouTube
GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour United States Open: Table No.1 and Table No.2 Live on the ITTF YouTube Channel
 

   

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