by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Top of list is Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto; at 13 years and 237 days old, appearing in his first such final, can he become the youngest player ever to win an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title?
Surprising beaten some four days earlier at the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event by Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang, Tomokazu Harimoto has gone from strength to strength. The no.14 seed, he faces Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed.
Likewise, the 28 year old German is striving to set new standards; can he win three in a row? On Sunday 5th February, he won the ITTF-Europe Cup in Antibes, France, one week later he secured the Men’s Singles title at the DHS Lausanne Open in Switzerland.
Furthermore, is there a good omen for Dimitrij Ovtcharov; it was in New Delhi in 2010 when he won his first ever ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles title.
One is the number for Tomokazu Harimoto, it is three for Dimitrij Ovtcharov; for Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm and Japan’s Sakura Mori it is two. They meet in the Women’s Singles final, Matilda Ekholm is the no.4 seed, Sakura Mori, the no.6 seed.
Sakura Mori is seeking her second title of the tournament, earlier she won the Under 21 Women’s Singles event; meanwhile Matilda Ekholm also appears in the Women’s Doubles final. She partners Hungary’s Georgina Pota; the no.2 seeds, they face Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching in the final.
Both pairs have two ITTF World Tour titles to their credit as Women’s Doubles partners; furthermore, Matilda Ekholm is seeking two Women’s Singles titles in succession. Last week, like Dimitrij Ovtcharov, she emerged successful in Lausanne.
Meanwhile for Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, in the Men’s Doubles event they are seeking to move from four to five; they own four ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles.
In the final they face Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther, the no.2 seeds but as yet with no ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles title to their credit; however, they have surrendered just one individual game to reach the final. They are ready to hit the favourites for six.
The finals’ programme is scheduled to start at 7.00pm (local time); that is 1.30pm (GMT).