The brand-new World Ping Pong Masters is underway at Ricoh Arena, Coventry and viewers tuning in were treated to an afternoon which delivered dramatic matches and high-quality play, live on Sky Sports Mix.
With a prize fund of over $100,000, the 24-player field includes the very best talent from around the world and is broadcast globally on networks including DAZN, Zhibo.tv and Matchroom.Live.
The tournament opened with an epic match between two of the youngest players in the tournament. English Under-18 Champion Ethan Walsh took the first set on a deciding point, but USA’s 20-year-old Vlad Farcas hit back in a second tight set. The third, however, went the way of the English youngster for a 15-14, 13-15, 15-11 win to set up a last-16 clash against four-time World Champion Andrew Baggaley.
Leading German female star Sabine Winter will face Bryan Aiglemont in the last-16 after the Frenchman won his preliminary round match against World Teqpong Champion Alfredas Udra. England’s Matt Ware defeated Ireland’s Jason Sugrue, before Genia Milchin put in a strong performance to see fancied Hungarian Kristof Zakar.
The fifth game of the afternoon produced one of the most dramatic endings. At 14-9 up in the third and deciding set, Oriol Monzo had six match points. But Lithuania’s Tomas Mikutis held firm to level, before winning the match 11-15, 15-12, 15-14.
There was double joy for Spain in the next two matches as Javier Benito Rodriguez defeated Filip Szymanski (Poland) 15-11, 15-13 before Marc Duran defeated Adam Vitasek (Czech Republic) 15-14, 15-7.
The session concluded with a 15-14, 15-8 win for Lucian Filimon, who edged Tomas Sadilek to set up a last 16 clash with three-time World Championship silver medallist Alexander Flemming.
All players, staff and officials Players, officials and staff were tested on arrival at the event. All those tested remained in isolation until the results were confirmed. Strict rules on social distancing and hygiene remain in place, in line with government guidelines. All those who were tested will now remain inside the ‘event bubble’ and will not leave until the conclusion of the event.
Players are competing under Elite Sports Person Exemptions and were met on arrival to the UK and driven directly to the venue for Covid-19 testing. All players were also tested before travelling to the UK and were only allowed to board their flights after receiving a negative test result.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON RESULTS
Ethan Walsh 2-1 Vlad Farcas
15-14, 13-15, 15-11
Bryan Aiglemont 2-1 Adam Vitasek
15-11, 14-15, 15-10
Jason Sugrue 0-2 Matt Ware
Kristof Zakar 0-2 Genia Milchin
Tomas Mikutis 2-1 Oriol Monzo
11-15, 15-12, 15-14
Filip Szymanski 0-2 Javier Benito Rodriguez
Marc Duran 2-0 Adam Vitasek
Tomas Sadilek 0–2 Lucian Filimon
SATURDAY EVENING SCHEDULE | 17:30-23:00
Andrew Baggaley (ENG) vs. Ethan Walsh (ENG)
Sabine Winter (GER) vs. Bryan Aiglemont (FRA)
Gavin Rumgay (SCO) vs. Matt Ware (ENG)
Maxim Shmyrev (RUS) vs. Genia Milchin (GER)
Chris Doran (ENG) vs. Tomas Mikutis (LTU)
Benjamin Sorensen (DEN) vs. Javier Benito Rodriguez (ESP)
Paul McCreery (NI) vs. Marc Duran (ESP)
Alexander Flemming (GER) vs. Lucian Filimon (ROU)