20 Apr 2017

Runner up in Belgium in September 2015, his best finish on the ITTF World Tour to date; on Thursday 20th April, Romania’s Hunor Szocs gave his best performance to date.

In the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon, the 25 year old beat the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik, the top seed, in six games (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Required to compete in the qualification tournament, Hunor Szocs presently stands at no.89 on the Men’s World Rankings; Jeoung Youngsik, who did not participate in last week’s Seamaster 2017 ITTF Asian Championships owing to a wrist injury, occupies the no.8 spot.

 “I feel unbelievable beating a top 10 world ranked player; it´s even more spectacular to do it in Korea against the top seed in the tournament. I felt very positive and confident from the beginning of the match as I knew he was coming back after an injury. I am in a good shape right now. I adjusted quite well to the new balls I got quickly into the match. The key point to my success was being able to counter his strong backhand. After that everything occurred automatically.” Hunor Szocs

Defeat and for Jeoung Youngsik means that a new name will be added to the tournament’s roll of honour; he is the only previous Men’s Singles winner on duty; he won two years ago beating colleague, Joo Saehyuk in the final.

“At this stage with the number seeded eliminated anything is possible, I am optimistic and will try to do my best. My objective for this tournament was wining first round so I can enter the top 64 seeding list for the Liebherr 2017 World Championships. I don´t want to settle with this result but wait until the end of the competition to be able to enjoy it. I have time until tomorrow to rest and recover against the next match.” Hunor Szocs

Delight for Hunor Szocs, the end of the road for the top seed and as the day concluded, two further seeds departed. Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.16 seed, was beaten by Singapore’s Gao Ning (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5); Japan’s Yuya Oshima, the no.10 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Germany’s Patrick Franziska (11-5, 11-13, 12-10, 11-2, 11-8).

Upsets but in the remaining contests that were enacted as matters came to an end on the first day of play in the main event, it was victory for the higher rated.

Timo Boll, the no.3 seed, added to German success by beating Park Jeongwoo (11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8); likewise, Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.3 seed, ended Korean hopes. He accounted for Cho Seungmin (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10).

Success for Japan; there was more success for the Land of the Rising Sun but there was also defeat. Kenta Matsudaira, the no.8 seed, beat Korea’s Jang Woojin (11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 14-12, 11-7); conversely, Masataka Morizono suffered at the hands of Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6).

Progress for Simon Gauzy and there was also progress for Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson; the no.14 seed, he ended the adventures of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu (11-3, 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7).

Play in the first round of the Men’s Singles event continues on Friday 21st April.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Korea Open Patrick Franziska Gao Ning Hunor Szocs

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