France’s Simon Gauzy was very much the player in form in the opening round of the men’s singles event at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) China Open in Shenzhen, beating sixth seed Lee Sangsu of South Korea in five games.
The 24-year-old came from behind to claim a 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 win on day one of the ITTF World Tour Platinum event at the Chinese city’s Bao'an Stadium.
Victory earns him a second-round meeting with Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, who defeated Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12.
The one other seeded player in the men’s singles draw to suffer elimination today was 16th-ranked Mattias Falck, the runner-up at last month’s ITTF World Championships in Hungary’s capital Budapest.
The Swede fell to home player Yu Ziyang, losing 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 5-11.
"He is a good player," Falck said.
"It was a tough match.
"I had my chance in the sixth game at 9-9.
"He made some good balls and I did not make good receives.
"He played well today."
There were comfortable win, meanwhile, for top seed Fan Zhendong and second seed Xu Xin with the former overcoming India's Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 and the latter defeating France's Emmanuel Lebesson 11-8, 11-5, 13-11, 11-4.
Fellow Chinese Ma Long, the seven-time defending champion and three-time reigning world champion, started his campaign with an 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 victory over Japan's Mizuki Oikawa.
In the first round of the women's singles event, there were surprise defeats for 11th seed Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong and 12th seed Hitomi Sato of Japan.
Doo lost 11-5, 4-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 8-11 to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu, while Sato was beaten 7-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11 by Austrian qualifier Sofia Polcanova.
"I feel tired, but I also feel very happy because I won," Polcanova said.
"Last time I lost against her 4-0 and today I played really good and I had good tactics, so I am very happy with my performance."
The one other seeded player sent packing was Japan's Saki Shibata, who lost 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 3-11 to China's Qian Tianyi.
Next up for Qian is scheduled to be second-seeded compatriot Zhu Yuling after she overcame Japan's Minami Ando 12-10, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7.
Top seed Ding Ning is also through to round two following an 11-8, 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 16-14 win over Japan's Miyuu Kihara, as is fellow Chinese Wang Mangyu, the defending champion, on the back of her 11-9, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 victory against Russia's Polina Mikhailova.
Action in Shenzhen is due to continue tomorrow with the round-of-16 ties.