by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Furthermore, both successes were achieved against the odds.
The no.3 seeds, the European partnership accounted for the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds in their semi-final Men’s Doubles duel (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10) and now meet a further Korean pair in the final. They oppose the partnership of Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun, the penultimate round winners against Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang and Yang Heng-Wei (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6).
A somewhat unexpected success for Patrick Franziska but it was only a mild surprise in comparison with his second round Men’s Singles victory.
Currently, no World ranking, having been absent from the international scene since last November, when losing to Iran’s Nima Alamiyan in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, Patrick Franziska caused one of the day’s biggest upsets.
He beat Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed (12-10, 12-10, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3); not only was it a surprise in terms of status, it was also a surprise in terms of past meetings.
In four prior contests on the international scene, Patrick Franziska had never beaten Koki Niwa. He had suffered defeat in the Boys’ Team event at the 2010 World Junior Championships, before on the ITTF World Tour experiencing the same fate on home soil in 2011 and in 2012 when they met in Kuwait and Japan.
Success for Patrick Franziska contrary to status; it was the same for Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson; the no.9 seed, he overcame Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 16-14).
However, somewhat different to Patrick Franziska, Kristian Karlsson had in the past enjoyed success against Simon Gauzy; notably in their most recent meeting, the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup, Kristian Karlsson had emerged successful.
Kristian Karlsson now meets Patrick Franziska in the round of the last eight. Both the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 22nd April.