By Neha Aggarwal
Friends and foes in the bottom half
Xu Xin is probably recalling the shocking quarter final exit at the ITTF World Tour China Open where he was knocked out by Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting in a full seven games duel. In the knock out stage of the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup, both the rivals are placed in the same half with Xu Xin seeded second and Wong Chun Ting seeded third.
But before that, Wong must prevail over Monteiro Joao in the round of 16 and for the quarter final stage, the winner of Lee Sangsu and Vladimir Samsonov.
Xu Xin, on the other hand will face Brazil’s Calderano Hugo, who was disappointed on his play as he lost to Bastian Steger in straight sets in the qualification groups earlier today. Xu Xin is expected to smoothly sail past the Brazilian and in the quarter finals meet the winner of Apolonia Tiago and Gerell Par.
Commenting on playing against his close friend Gerell, Apolonia joked:
“Its always 50-50 playing each other, but playing PlayStation I win 100% of the time.”
Gerell, who beat Rio sensation Aruna Quadri earlier today is high on confidence and is expected to continue this incredible run. Friendships will definitely be kept aside and friends will return on the table to move closer to the World Cup crown.
Fierce battle in the top half
World number two Fan Zhendong, seeded number one here at Saarbrücken, will face Singapore’s Gao Ning in the round of 16 at 12:oo pm local time. Fan Zhendong is waiting to win his first major world title and will be prepared to face the world number 34 from Singapore. He will will next face the winner of Fegerl Stefan (AUT) and Jeoung Youngsik (KOR) in the quarter final stage.
But a ferocious battle between German star Ovtcharov Dimitrij and Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson lies ahead in the round of 16. Commenting on the game, Kristian Karlsson said on a confident note, “It will be very difficult as he is one of the best players in the world. I have beaten him before so I will try and do that again tomorrow.” To Karlsson’s confidence, Ovtcharov responded:
“He has beaten me before, but I was not in my best shape and I beat him in practice today, so I am confident. It will be a great match, it is always nice playing in Germany.”
If Ovtcharov delivers as expected out of him, he will face the winner of Gauzy Simon and Bastian Steger who will face each other in the round of 16. This thrilling match will be a pure show of European class as both the players are powerful off the table attackers. Bastian is in an implausible form as he won both his matches in the qualification stage by a four games to nil margin.
Aware of the threat, Gauzy responded, “I have never beaten Bastian before, but I am looking forward to playing him tomorrow.”
Day one of the Leibherr 2016 World Cup ended with a couple of surprises with the biggest one being Aruna Quadri’s shocking exit. Catch up with more exciting action on day two as the last 16 knock out stage commences and the road to the trophy of the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup narrows down.