France's Tristan Flore eliminated second seed Koki Niwa of Japan from the men's singles competition on the opening day of the ITTF Australian Open ©ITTF/APAC Sport Media

France’s Tristan Flore caused a major upset on the opening day of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Australian Open after beating second seed Koki Niwa of Japan at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium in Gold Coast.

The world number 50 claimed an 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7 victory to set up a second-round clash with England’s Paul Drinkhall, who overcame Russia’s Alexander Shibaev, the 11th seed, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7.

There was further disappointment for Japan in the men’s singles event as number eight seed Yuto Muramatsu was beaten 11-6, 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 13-11 by South Korea’s Cho Seungmin.

Tomokazu Harimoto, a quarter-finalist at the recent ITTF World Championships and the 15th seed in Gold Coast, also departed at the hands of a South Korean after suffering an 11-6, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6 defeat against Lim Jonghoon.

Japan did have some notable successes though with Masaki Yoshida beating Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the third seed, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7.

The other leading players are safely through to the second round as top seed Jun Mizutani of Japan defeated South Korea’s Seo Hyundeok 11-9, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8 and fourth seed Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus overcame Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7.

China's Gu Yuting beat fifth seed Miu Hirano of Japan in the opening round of the women's singles event ©ITTF/APAC Sport Media
China's Gu Yuting beat fifth seed Miu Hirano of Japan in the opening round of the women's singles event ©ITTF/APAC Sport Media

There were also differing fortunes for Japan in the first round of the women’s singles competition, which saw Asian champion Miu Hirano, the fifth seed, fall to an 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 loss at the hands of China’s Gu Yuting.

Fourth seed Kasumi Ishikawa and eighth seed Hitomi Sato also lost to Chinese opposition, as did Mima Ito, who was pivotal to Japan’s bronze medal-winning performance in the women’s team event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Ishikawa was beaten 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10 by Chen Xingtong, while Sato lost 11-2, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 to Wang Manyu and Ito lost 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 to Zhang Qiang.

Japan’s biggest success in the women’s singles came courtesy of Saki Shibata, who overcame second seed Feng Tianwei of Singapore 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.

Other impressive results in favour of the East Asian nation were Miyu Maeda’s 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2, 13-11 win over South Korea’s Jeon Jihee, the 11th seed, and Maki Shiomi’s 2-11, 11-5, 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 victory over Singapore’s Zeng Jian, the 12th seed.

The Chinese duo of Zhu Yuling, the top seed, and Chen Meng, the third seed, both emerged comfortable victors.

Zhu beat South Korea’s Kim Kyungah 11-3, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8, while Chen defeated Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu 11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9.

Action in Gold Coast is due to continue tomorrow.