Slovenian Open Preview & Draw

Author:
Russell Moore

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Knight tweeted his expectations: "groups are out too, big chances :)"

The draws have been made for the Slovenian Open with England boasting another strong line-up of players in the second World Tour event of the Olympic year.

There seems to be a growing momentum behind English table tennis at the moment, which is reflected in the optimism of the qualifying group draws.

Top seeds in their groups are again Paul Drinkhall and Andrew Baggaley, who will hope to build on their impressive performances in Hungary, while Liam Pitchford is also seeded for his first World Tour event of the year.

Second seeds Darius Knight and Daniel Reed will fancy themselves to topple their group’s top seed while Chris Doran faces the toughest draw against Brazil’s world number 88 Gustavo Tsuboi.

In the women’s draw only Joanna Parker is competing in Slovenia and she is the top seed for her singles group. However, she has to face an interesting challenge from Korean Kim Min Gyung (209) before she can progress.

She also faces doubles action alongside Romanian Camelia Postoaca (171). They are favourites for their tie with Tamara Jeric and Ivana Zera from Slovenia with the winners facing the daunting task of China’s Li Xiaoxia and Liu Shiwen.

The men are also busy in doubles action. The all-English pairs of Baggaley/Pitchford and Knight/Reed are joined by Drinkhall and Ukranian Lei Kou as well as Doran and Isreal’s Omri Ben Ari.

Doran, however, is again the recipient of a tough looking match against the exciting young French pair of Simon Gauzy and Quentin Robinot.

He can though look forward to the under-21s tournament where he is the top seed of his qualifying group and will hope to progress rather than falling foul of the authorities as he did in Hungary.

Liam Pitchford will also play in the under-21s but he will join the action in round one as the ninth seed. His main rivals will be favourites Chen Chien-An (TPE, 82) and Jung Young Sik (KOR, 87) while he may also seek revenge on Robinot (FRA, 112) for his defeat at the World Junior Championships on Bahrain.

Don’t forget to keep up to date with all of the action on our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as the daily reports that will appear here.

For live streamed action of tables 1 and 2 at the event you can also watch itTV from the ITTF. Details of English matches on itTV will follow.

Men’s Singles Qual Groups (Country, World Rank)

Grp 1:

Gustavo Tsuboi (BRA, 88)

Christopher Doran (ENG, 452)

Jakub Dyjas (POL, 470)

Grp 23:

Paul Drinkhall (ENG, 143)

Mitja Horvat (SLO, 297)

Stefan Leitgeb (AUT, 680)

Grp 25:

Andrew Baggaley (ENG, 144)

Lauric Jean (BEL, 285)

Julian Ramos (COL, 737)

Grp 32:

Lubomir Jancarik (CZE, 155)

Daniel Reed (ENG, 260)

Ludvik Persolja (SLO, 952)

Grp 35:

Mattias Karlsson (SWE, 164)

Darius Knight (ENG, 240)

Marco Vannucci (SMR, 1063)

Grp 36:

Liam Pitchford (ENG, 174)

Tomislav Zubcic (CRO, 241)

Mattia Berardi (SMR, 1342)

Women’s Singles Qual Groups

Grp 19:

Joanna Parker (ENG, 127)

Kim Min Gyung (KOR, 209)

Nina Pavlin (SLO, 631)

Boy’s Under-21 Qual Groups

Grp 12:

Christopher Doran (ENG, 452)

Konrad Kulpa (POL, 576)

Matej Jelic (CRO, Unr)

Men’s Doubles Pre-Rounds

Simon Gauzy/Quentin Robinot (FRA) v Chris Doran (ENG)/Omri Ben Ari (ISR)

Andrew Baggaley/Liam Pitchford (ENG) v Harald Andersson/Robert Svensson (SWE)

Romualdo Manna/Chris Mersi (ITA) v Paul Drinkhall (ENG)/Lei Kou (UKR)

Darius Knight/Daniel Reed (ENG) v Andre Ho/Pierre-Luc Hinse (CAN)

Women’s Doubles Pre-Rounds

Joanna Parker (ENG)/Camelia Postoaca (ROU)/Tamara Jeric/Ivana Zera (SLO)

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