by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
He beat Frenchman Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seed and runner up in the Men’s Singles event at last month’s Liebherr 2016 European Champions.
Jin Ueda emerged successful in five games (11-3, 12-10, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8), for David McBeath it was one game more (8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6).
Notably, neither David McBeath nor Jin Ueda possesses a current World Ranking; for David McBeath there was little to suggest that he would prove more than a match for Maharu Yoshimura.
At the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships earlier in the year in Kuala Lumpur in the semi-final contest against England, Maharu Yoshimura had beaten Liam Pitchford in a tense five games duel (11-5, 12-14, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9); the win was to prove pivotal in the three-one victory.
Furthermore Maharu Yoshimura had two ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles to his credit; in 2014 he had won in Spain and in Croatia. David McBeath had no such credentials in his portfolio.
“It’s been a bit of a surprise, I’ve been out injured for the last eight or nine months. It’s definitely my best performance. I’ve played good tactics, especially and I received well. I had a good match and he dropped his level at the end and I took advantage of that. I got an early lead in the sixth game, 5-0 up I think and held on from there. I think he got a bit nervous. Beating Cho Eonrae in the qualification was one of my best wins as well; that was a closer match, I was down three-two but I changed my tactics a bit and kept that going and started to get a few more easier balls.” David McBeath
Conversely, there was evidence to suggest that Jin Ueda might cause Simon Gauzy problems. In 2009 in Tokyo, he had won the Boys’ Singles title at the ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals, whilst more recently in 2015 he had been crowned Men’s Singles champion at the Universiade in Gwangju, Korea.
Also, there was one more factor that no doubt gave him confidence as he entered the fray; on their one and only prior meeting on the international scene, the 2011 ITTF World Tour Japan Open, in the group stage of affairs Jin Ueda had prevailed in five games (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 10-12,11-6). In Stockholm he did the same again.
Upsets but perhaps not of such magnanimous proportions, there were four more as the first round of the Men’s Singles event progressed; the host nation having cause to celebrate.
Elias Ranefur beat the Czech Republic’s Tomas Konecny, the no.27 seed and winner earlier this year in Bulgaria, whilst from foreign shores Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan, Belgium’s Florent Lambiet and China’s Wang Chuqin all emulated the Swede.
Noshad Alamian, the in 2012 in Morocco, accounted Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.23 seed (12-10, 6-11, 3-11, 11-7, 15-13, 11-9); Florent Lambiet overcame Poland’s Daniel Gorak, the no.26 seed (11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9), whilst Wang Chuqin ended the hopes of India’s Soumyajit Ghosh, the no.30 seed (11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
Meanwhile, for the most notable names on duty in the top half of the Men’s Singles first round draw there was success; both Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed and Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Swedish qualifiers.
“Brodd played really well. It was my first match of the tournament and that is always hard. It has been a busy year with Olympics and everything but I have been practising well the last couple of days and I also spent some time with my family here in Sweden”, Dimitrij Ovtcharov
“I tried to put pressure on him and play really tough. Against such a good player as Dima you can’t do anything not 100 percent, if I want to win these kind of matches. Looking back I really needed to win the second game and lead two-nil to put pressure on him. It was his first match and they are always difficult”, Viktor Brodd
Dimitrij Ovtcharov beat Viktor Brodd (9-11, 14-12, 11-5, 12-14, 11-4, 11-7); Koki Niwa ended the hopes of Hampus Nordberg (11-5, 11-8, 12-14, 13-11, 11-8), the winner in 2012 when the tournament was staged in Helsingbörg.