The FIE Épée World Cup in Sochi began today with the preliminary round-of-128 ©Getty Images

Russia's Aleksandr Sobolev produced back-to-back upsets in the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Épée World Cup in Sochi to reach the main draw.

Despite the 22-year-old not yet having a world ranking, he defeated 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist and world number 36 Davide Di Veroli of Italy 12-11 in the preliminary round opener.

Sobolev then beat 2017 World Championships bronze medallist Richard Schmidt of Germany 15-14 in a nail-biting encounter.

His victory against the world number 107 secured Sobolev's progression into the main draw where he faces his biggest challenge yet.

World number one and Hungarian silver medallist at Tokyo 2020 Gergely Siklósi awaits him in the round-of-64.

At the other end of the bracket, Ukraine's unranked 20-year-old Pavel Trofymenko beat South Korean veteran Kweon Young-jun.

The Tokyo 2020 team bronze medallist fell to a shock 15-12 defeat.

Trofymenko then beat compatriot Daniil Hoida 15-11 to set up another all-Ukrainian clash against world number two Ihor Reizlin.

Reizlin, a two-time World Cup gold medallist, is heavily favoured for the clash and goes into the tournament having finished fifth in the Doha Grand Prix last month.

Japan's Masaru Yamada has been given the third seed for the competition in Russia and is due to face world number 265 Bálint Bakos in the main draw.

The Hungarian breezed through the preliminary round with a 15-4 demolition of Egypt's Ahmed El Sayed and a routine 15-6 victory over 38-year-old compatriot András Rédli.

The competition continues tomorrow with the completion of the individual main draw which will see a champion crowned.

The team competition is set to begin on Sunday (February 13).