by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The 29 year old German was the no.15 seed; conversely, Jeong Sangeun had been required compete in the qualification tournament. Impressively, Ruwen Filus won in four straight games (16-14, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8).
Success for one German, defeat for one Korean; it was repeated as matters commenced in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event but there was a significant difference, the outcomes were upsets.
The host nation’s Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seed, was beaten by Japan’s Kenta Tazoe, a player with no current World Ranking but the previous week at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships, a Mixed Doubles bronze medallist in partnership with Miyu Maeda.
Kenta Tazoe emerged successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding seventh game to cause a major upset (11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10).
A major upset, the further German victory contrary to status was less of a surprise. Ricardo Walther beat Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, the no.14 seed (7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7).
The two Europeans are very evenly matched. Prior to the contest, in World Ranking events, Mattias Karlsson had beaten Ricardo Walther in the Boys’ Singles event at the Volkswagen 2009 World Junior Championships in Cartagena de Indias and last year en route to the Men’s Singles final at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open. Conversely, some five years ago Ricardo Walther had prevailed when they met at the 2012 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open.
Two wins for Germany as play commenced in the first round of the Men’s Singles event but there was defeat; by the very narrowest of decisions, Steffen Mengel suffered at the hands of Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura (6-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 13-15, 11-9).
Disappointment for the host nation; however, at the Men’s Doubles quarter-final stage, there was better news with two pairs reserving penultimate round places.
Jang Woojin and Jeoung Sangeun beat Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri and Masaki Takami (11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-6); Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds, ended the hopes of colleagues Kim Minseok and Seo Hyundeok, the no.8 seeds (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5).
At the semi-final stage Jang Woojin and Jeoung Sangeun meet Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang and Yang Heng-Wei; Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu oppose the combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth.
In the round of the last eight pairs, Hung Tzu-Hsiang and Yang Heng-Wei overcame Singapore’s Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie (11-9, 12-10, 11-8); Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth ended the progress of Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Hunor Szocs in a dramatic five games duel (11-5, 14-16, 14-12, 11-13, 14-12).
The semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 21st April.