by Simon Daish
Lee Sangsu and Yijun Feng had never met on the table prior to their encounter in the Saarlandhalle, and few would have predicted a seven game thriller between the two players.
The early lead fell to Lee who had his eyes set on getting the win wrapped up as quickly as possible, but after the opening three ends it was Feng who held the advantage having secured back-to-back games to move 1-2 ahead.
Two more consecutive games were won but this time by Lee who only required one more game win to seal the two points, however, Feng refused to drop back and a positive performance in the sixth end from the USA competitor meant the crowd was in for an exciting finale.
Eventually Lee Sangsu got the job done (11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4) and the Korean admitted that it was difficult to cope with his opponent’s play at times during the match:
“Before the match I thought it would be straightforward, but during the match I struggled with his service and backhand. Also, I could not cope with his speed initially, but my coach told me to change tactics by slowing him down which helped. I then started receiving his service and made sure I slowed him down when he played with speed. He played well and I am happy with my victory.” – Lee Sangsu (Korea Republic).
Despite ending up on the wrong side of the result, Yijun Feng was satisfied with his effort in his opening World Cup match and praised the spectators in attendance for lifting his game.
“In the first game I was a bit nervous but the crowd support pulled me through to win the second game,” said Feng. “I think his experience and skills really worked for him. I am very satisfied with my performance but I made a lot of mistakes in the match which cost me victory.”