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Canadian Tested but Experience Counts in Men’s Singles First Round Contests
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Chen Hongtao successfully through to round two of the Men's Singles event  Photo By: Ennis Luna

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

International experience told in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour United States Open in Las Vegas on Thursday 4th July 2013.

Seeded players dominated proceedings.

There was not one casualty with Canada’s Cheng Hongtao, the no.12 seed, being the only player among the elite names to experience any great problems.

He needed six games to end the hopes of India’s Jubin Kumar (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9).

Country’s Future
Chen Hongtao, 18 years old, is very much a player to whom Canada looks for the future; since the retirement of Johnny Huang, there has been no player to emerge from the North American country of that stature.

Undoubtedly Chen Hongtao has several steps to climb on the international ladder but on the ITTF Junior Circuit he has impressed.

ITTF Junior Circuit
In 2011 he was the runner up in the Junior Boys’ Singles event at the Canadian Junior and Cadet Open; one year later he achieved the same finish at the Hungarian Junior Open in Tata.

Furthermore, he was on duty at the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in Guatemala earlier this year, a bronze medal being his eventual lot.

Opposite End of Spectrum
Now 18 years old, Chen Hongtao is very much at the opposite end of the international spectrum to the top two seeds in the Men’s Singles event at the ITTF World Tour 2013 United States Open.

Sweden’s Jens Lundqvist, the top seed, is now 33 years old; Croatia’s Zoran Primorac, the no.2 seed, is very much the senior citizen.

He is 44 years of age; in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event in Las Vegas that experience told.

Top Four Untroubled
Jens Lundqvist beat the host nation’s Bowen Chen in five games (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2), Zoran Primorac overcame Justin Nguyen, also from the United States, in four straight games (11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4).

Success for the top seeds with a degree of comfort; also it is was success in a similar vein for the next two in the order of merit.

Canada’s Eugene Wang, the no.3 seed and Sweden’s Robert Svensson, the no.4 seed, both accounted for United States adversaries.

Eugene Wang overcame Samson Dubina (11-5, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9), Robert Svensson ended the hopes of Jeremy Lau (11-7, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5).

Second Round Places Secured
Similarly for the next four in the order of merit, there was a comfortable journey to round two.

Japan’s Ryusuke Karube, Mexico’s Marcos Madrid and Romania’s Andrei Filimon all beat host nation adversaries.

Ryusuke Karube, the no.5 seed, ousted Shivansh Kumar (11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3), Marcos Madrid, the no.6 seed, ended the hopes of Qi Wei (11-2, 11-8, 11-4, 9-11, 18-16); whilst Andrei Filimon, the no.8 seed, proved too powerful for Chance Friend.

Champion in Japan Makes Fine Start
Not to be outdone, Japan’s Masato Shiono, the no.8 seed and the shock winner of the Men’s Singles title at the recent GAG Group ITTF World Tiour Japan Open was in no mood for charity.

He accounted for Mexico’s Guillermo Muñoz in four straight games (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8).



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