After day one at the Greek Para Open in Argostoli Chris Ryan (men’s class 2), Martin Perry (men’s class 6) and Joshua Stacey (men’s class 9) are all through to the semi-finals of their respective singles events while Aaron McKibbin has progressed to the quarterfinals of men’s class 7-8.
Men’s class 2
Chris Ryan had a tough opening match against the World number two Rafal Czuper from Poland and the World and Paralympic silver medallist was too strong in a 3-0 win. The 31-year-old former GB wheelchair rugby captain achieved his first international win when defeating the European team bronze medallist Roman Gulyk from Ukraine 3-1 to progress to the semi-finals where he will play Frenchman Julien Michaud, gold medallist in the Egypt Para Open in February.
Men’s class 4-5
Simon Heaps began with a 3-0 win against the newcomer from Ukraine Vitalii Bairamshyn but was then beaten 3-1 by Genki Saito the class 4 World number 20 from Japan. He progressed to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win against the unranked George Florescu from Romania but lost a very close match to another Romanian class 4 Petru Ifrosa, 12-10 in the fifth after leading 2-1.
Men’s class 6
Top seed Martin Perry was a 3-0 winner against Lennard Properjohn, the 21-year-old from Australia competing in his second tournament after making his debut in the Costa Brava Spanish Open last year. A 3-0 win against 20-year-old Mario Joao Bastardo from Portugal secured Perry a bye into the semi-finals as group winner.
Men’s class 7-8
Aaron McKibbin lost only one point in his opening match against the newcomer from Greece Merampi Tsanava and was then a 3-0 winner against Ali Makhulbekov from Kazakhstan, the 20-year-old bronze medallist in the Egypt Para Open earlier this year. He secured top place in his group and a bye into the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win against the 19-year-old from Portugal Eurico Andre Silva.
Ryan Henry lost his opening match 3-0 against Piotr Grudzien, the Polish former World number one and World and Paralympic team gold medallist but went through to the knockout stages after a 3-1 win against Alyn Nicolae from Romania. He went out after losing his last 16 match to Makhulbekov 3-1.
Men’s class 9
In his first tournament since taking silver in the World Championships last November Joshua Stacey won his first match against Hayuma Abe from Japan, bronze medallist in the Finland Para Open last year, 3-1. He then came through a great battle against Ivan Mai, the world number five and Paralympic bronze medallist from Ukraine, edging the first set 12-10 and then fighting back from 2-1 down to take the match 3-2, 11-4 in the fifth. He will play either Koyo Iwabuchi from Japan or Lev Kats from Ukraine in the semi-finals.
Men’s class 10
Jack Stockdale was drawn in a tough group and he did not progress after losing 3-0 to the formidable Patryk Chojnowski, the World number one, World and Paralympic champion from Poland, and 3-0 to Krisztian Gardos from Austria, the World number six and World bronze medallist.
Max Flint was far from disgraced in a 3-1 loss to World number four Mateo Boheas from France, taking the second set against the Tokyo Paralympic silver medallist and World bronze medallist 12-10. He put up another good performance against World number 19 Pawel Wlodyka from Poland before losing 3-1 to the Lignano Masters Para Open bronze medallist but did not progress after a 3-0 loss to Igor Misztal, the World number five and European bronze medallist from Poland.