Table Tennis: Defeats for Team Singapore Paddlers on Day 1 of Singapore Smash 2022

Lucas Tan and Andy Wong suffer defeats on opening day, while fellow Singapore stars Beh Kun Ting and Ser Lin Qian will also feature in qualifying rounds of Singapore Smash

Lucas Tan in action in the qualifying round of Singapore Smash 2022 on Day 1. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS


Singapore, 8 March 2022 - Singapore table tennis athletes Lucas Tan and Andy Wong suffered defeats on the opening day of Singapore Smash 2022 at OCBC Arena of Singapore Sports Hub, a WTT Grand Smash as part of the WTT Series, and the first of four new pillars of professional table tennis.


Lucas Tan fell 0-3 (9-11, 2-11, 2-11) to Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium, while compatriot Andy Wong lost 1-3 (11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 5-11) to Frenchman Andrea Landrieu.

Singapore's table tennis player Andy Wong at Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS


Wong, 19, said: "I was playing very well at the start but my opponent changed up the rhythm and I couldn’t get it back. I was nervous initially because the Singapore Smash is a big event and this is the first time I’m competing on such a big stage with the professional players, but I got over the nerves eventually."


Team-mate Tan, 22, also admitted he was nervous entering the match. "I’m not used to (the opponent’s) serves and returns too, so I panicked a little towards the end," he added.

Lucas Tan getting ready to receive a serve on Day 1 of Singapore Smash 2022 at the OCBC Arena. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS


"The first game was still all right, but once there was a huge difference in scores for the subsequent games, it became quite hard to manage. I’m not satisfied, I think I could’ve performed better. But I still have doubles to play, so I’ll rest for today and continue practising tomorrow."


Singapore Smash 2022 Opening Day


The first day of the inaugural Singapore Smash kicked off with the men’s and women’s singles qualifiers (Round of 64) taking place at the OCBC Arena. Players in action included two-time world youth champion Xiang Peng of China, who held off a resurgent Noshad Alamiyan to prevail 3-2 (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8).

Singapore's Andy Wong in action at Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS


The 19-year-old Xiang trailed 2-7 in the fifth game before staging a comeback to defeat his Iranian opponent.


Xiang, who won the Under-19 Boys’ Singles title at the 2021 ITTF World Youth Championships, said of his performance: "I was pretty confident after winning the first two games. But after that, things changed a little in terms of tactical play. I was nervous after the third and fourth games but I managed to come back even though I was trailing 2-7. I really fought for it and didn’t give up."

China's Xiang Peng survived a scare on the opening day of the inaugural Singapore Smash 2022. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS


The most important thing I’ve learnt (from this match) is that even if you’re leading, you have to approach it point by point and not get ahead of yourself. It’s still important to control my mind, play a strong mental game and ensure that I play to the best of my ability to seal the win.”


WTT Grand Smashes form the foundation of the WTT Series and the Singapore Smash is the first of the four new pillars of professional table tennis. The event boasts US$2,000,000 in prize money, the biggest prize purse at an officially-sanctioned table tennis event.


Singapore Smash qualifying matches are ongoing from now till 9 March, with the top eight winners in the men’s and women’s qualifying competition advancing to the main draw.


Tickets to the qualifying matches are on sale starting from $10. Main draw matches will be played from 11 to 20 March, and tickets are priced from $18. Ticket packages including day passes for the main draw are available from $35. More information can be found at www.sistic.com.sg.


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