With momentum and… style, Panagiotis Gionis appeared in the first 16 of singles at the powerful World Table Tennis Contender of Qatar.
After going through four qualifying rounds to enter the main draw of the “32”, on Wednesday he took the next step for a high placing and a good collection of points with a wide victory. For the first round of the World Table Tennis Contender in Doha, he was very effective against the young Izak Quek from Singapore and prevailed with a 3-0 set.
The Asian is many places higher than him in the world ranking, at number 55 in the men’s category this week, but not yet ready to face the very difficult way of playing of the Greek champion, who dominated and with the defense forced the opponent into many mistakes. His next opponent on Thursday is the outstanding Korean Lee Sangsu and, of course, he believes in qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Gionis had scored three wins on the qualifying board, the last two in five sets. Any fatigue, however, was already gone and in the match against Quek, who was directly in the “32”, he appeared very strong. Quek is also ranked number 12 in the Under 19 world rankings, has many top Youth Contender honors and good placings in men’s tournaments, but he had no solutions against Gionis’ combination game of quality defense and excellent attack.
The top defender was very stable from the start, he confused the Asian many times with the false-false and basically he was not pressured at any point of the match. His dominance is evidenced by the score itself, as he won 11-6, 11-2 and 11-3.
Kostas Vatsaklis together with the rest of the delegation (Konstantinos Angelakis and Elisavet Terpou) found in Doha these days the leading member of our national men’s team in the recent past, Daniel Tsioka, who works as the Qatari men’s federal coach.
Li Sangsu, meanwhile, in the “32” of the singles eliminated the also great Chuan Chi Yuan from Chinese Taipei with 3-1 sets. In his rich career he has, among other distinctions, one silver and six bronze medals in world championships.
I am currently a news writer for News Bulletin247 where I mostly cover sports news. I have always been interested in writing and it is something I am very passionate about. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family and friends.