by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
On the afternoon of Saturday 22nd April at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event, he beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the no.14 seed, to reserve his place in the penultimate round.
Patrick Franziska has a good record against Kristian Karlsson on the international scene; most notably he beat Kristian Karlsson in the Men’s Singles qualification event at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour German Open; he won by the very narrowest of seven games margins (8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 14-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9).
Now compare that result with today in Incheon; Patrick Franziska won in four straight games and not one of those games was decided by the minimal two point margin (11-7, 11-2, 11-3, 11-7).
A sound theory, absence makes performance grow higher, it would also appear to apply to Korea’s Lim Jonghoon.
He has not competed on the international scene since losing to Frenchman, Can Akkuzu at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster Qatar 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha.
Like Patrick Franziska, not seeded, he caused a major upset by beating Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.5 seed, a player he had never previously encountered, to reserve his place in the last four.
The effect of the two results is that a player, who was required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, will appear in the final.
Patrick Franziska and Lim Junghoon meet in the semi-finals; the contest is scheduled for later today.
Let’s hope they get a good rest before they play!