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Levinski Impresses with Opening Performance at 2020 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open

By Matt Hetherington | Feb. 06, 2020, 10:44 a.m. (ET)

USA's Mishel Levinski has made a stunning impression at his first international event of the year, reaching the round of 32 at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Spanish Open in Granada, Spain. 

The event marks the first appearance on the international circuit outside of North America for Levinski, and he hasn't let the opportunity go to waste - recording arguably the win of his career so far in the main draw of the Men's Singles.

In the group stages he was seeded at the bottom of the group, but hit the ground running to lock in wins over both of his opponents. He recorded 3-1 wins over WR202 Florian Cnudde of Belgium and the host nation's Miguel Nunez.

The wins earned him a ticket to the main draw where he faced Egypt's Khalid Assar in the round of 64. 

Assar currently sits at his highest ever career World Ranking of 118 and competed in the Men's Singles at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The brother of top ranked international, Omar Assar, won three medals at the 2015 African Games - including a singles bronze and has logged some impressive career results.

Levinski showed grit to claim two intense and close games, the second 16-14 and the fourth 15-13, these proved crucial in the eventual 4-2 victory.

"I had watched him playing before the match and knew he is very solid on the table with good control and power, I figured I have to use every point from my serves and try to play with my power against his," said Levinski after the match. 

"He played the way I thought, and I was prepared. It was a close fight with a lot of long rallies which I didn't expect. I managed to win most of the long rallies and the short game was better on my side."

While Nick Tio had an unbelievably close match with WR61, Noshad Alamiyan of Iran, losing out 4-3, Levinski remains the last man standing in the Men's Singles Draw.

Nick Tio went on to end his run in the Under 21 Men's Singles semifinal, losing to Romania's Rares Sipos.

Levinski continued his excellent form by overcoming Olajide Omatoyo of Nigeria in the Round of 32, advancing on to the last 16 where he lost out 4-1 to Finland's Benedek Olah.