pbsmick

Month of Misery Continues for Jean-Michel Saive

by on Jun.25, 2012, under News

Ranked no.1 in the World, European champion, winner of the Europe Top 12 and a host of other titles to his credit; at the moment nothing is going right for Jean-Michel Saive

At the recent GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Brazil Open in Santos, he was beaten in the opening round by the host nation’s rising teenage star, Hugo Calderano; just over one week later, at the ITTF Euro-Africa 4th Hasan II Morocco Open in the city of Rabat on Sunday 24th June, it was farewell in the quarter-finals.

The top seed, he was beaten in five games by Kuwait’s Ibrahem Al-Hasan, the no.7 seed (14-12, 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9). Best Win
Once again sadness for Jean-Michel Saive and he will want to forget the month of June 2012 but, as he has done throughout his long distinguished career, the Belgian legend in both Santos and Rabat conducted himself with the utmost dignity, a mark of his character.

Ask both Hugo Calderano and Ibrahem Al-Hasan to name the best win of their careers and I suspect both will reply “Jean-Michel Saive”; at the moment that may be little solace to the main who lifted Belgium to new heights in the world of table tennis but it reflects the high respect in which he is held.

Egyptians Fall
The defeat of Jean-Michel Saive was the biggest upset as matters progressed to the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event in Rabat but it was not the only upset; the Egyptian duo of Ahmed Saleh and Omar Assar, the respective third and fourth seeds both departed in round two.

Both lost to in-form Frenchmen who had successfully negotiated the qualification stage of proceedings.

Ahmed Saleh was beaten by Antoine Hachard (12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-3); whilst Omar Assar suffered against Enzo Angles (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10, 11-2).

Yannick Vostes Flies Belgian Flag
Alas for Antoine Hachard there was no further progress, he was beaten by Yannich Vostes, the no.5 seed, who kept the Belgian flag flying by overcoming the Frenchman in five games (11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8), having in the second round beaten the danger man of the tournament.

He ended the hopes of France’s Arnaud Dairon, the player who on the first two days had caused shock after shock, in five games (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11_7, 11-9).

Semi-Final Place for Enzo Angles
However, for Enzo Angles, it was better news, he booked his place in the semi-finals by overcoming colleague, Michel Martinez, the no.6 seed, in six games (11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7).

Thus for three of the top four seeds, there was no place in the semi-finals; the only one of the elite quartet to book a penultimate round place was Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan.

Progress to Penultimate Round
He beat younger brother Nima Alamian in five games in round two (8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5), before overcoming French qualifier, Benjamin Brossier, in the round the last eight in four straight games (11-7, 13-11, 12-10, 11-5).

One round earlier, Benjamin Brossier had ended Moroccan hopes, he beat Mounaim Tirselt, the no.8 seed in four straight games (11-4, 12-10, 11-9, 13-11).

Semi-Finals
At the semi-final stage, Ibrahem Al-Hasan meets Enzo Angles; Noshad Alamiyan confronts Yannick Vostes.

Play concludes on Monday 25th June 2012.

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