David McBeath, a former Waterside TTC player, started this week his 2014 Pro Tour campaign in the Hungarian city of Szombathely which is in the west of the country close to the Austrian border.
David has been relentlessly continuing his improvement over the last couple of years and following his success recently, in becoming British Champion, defeating the legend Ryan Jenkins along the way; his first outing in the World Tour (Pro Tour) was going to be worth keeping an eye on. David was seeded 3rd in his qualifying group so it would be a tough ask.
The top seed for his group was Jon Persson of Sweden (World Ranked 147) while seeded 2nd was Vidian Galdev of Russia (World Ranked 470), David’s current world ranking stands at 565 so on paper both these players especially Persson should be far too strong for him. However remember David has shown hints of a level that his current ranking may be about to change – remember he recently defeated World number 103 Salifou of France.
As the lowest ranked player in the group he had to play both higher ranked players on the first day. Now how you view this fact is important – is it a difficult day or is it an opportunity?
David grabbed the opportunity with both hands thank you very much! Defeating Galdev of Russia first with a 4-2 scoreline he set himself up for a mouthwatering finish to the day, A win against world 147 Jon Persson would seal the group in David’s favour on day one. David started strongly storming into a 3-0 lead before the more experienced Swede stopped the rot edging a close 12-10 win in game 4. Could David respond in the face of this Swedish resurgence? The answer was a most emphatic yes – 11-6 and David sealed the match and the group on the first day.
Whatever his results in the rest of the event this is an important milestone – it has always been a huge challenge for English players to get past the group stage of a Pro Tour. David has accomplished this on day 1 of the 2014 World Tour so has set a marker for his season. We watch with interest.
For more information on the Hungarian Open, see ITTF’s website.