by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In a most emphatic manner, Timo Boll, the no.3 seed, accounted for qualifier, Gao Ning; he prevailed in four straight games (11-9, 11-2, 11-2, 11-2) and thus maintained his ascendancy over the Singaporean.
It was the eighth time that they had met in a World ranking event; it was the eighth time that time that Timo Boll had prevailed.
They first met at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the 2006 ITTF World Tour German Open in Bayreuth; on that occasion Timo Boll won in straight games (11-4, 11-7, 20-18, 11-7). The most recent prior to the Korean confrontation was at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Championships in Tokyo; again Timo Boll prevailed without the loss of a single game (13-11, 11-7, 11-5). It was no different in Incheon.
Impressive from Timo Boll, it was very much the same from Ricardo Walther; he overcame fellow qualifier Kenta Tazoe in five games (11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5).
Defeat for Japan but in the other two top half of the Men’s Singles draw contests, it was success.
Kenta Matsudaira, the no.8 seed, overcame Ruwen Filus, the no.15 seed, in a contest that was secured by a greater margin than their one prior international encounter on the ITTF World Tour. In 2012 in Kuwait, Kenta Matsudaira had emerged successful in seven games (5-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8); in Incheon he needed two games less (13-11, 11-3, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8).
The end of the journey for Ruwen Filus, it was the same for Hunor Szocs who the previous day had ousted Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik, the top seed (11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-8); he was beaten by Kenta Matsudaira’s colleague, Maharu Yoshimura, the no.12 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5).
Matches in the lower half of the draw will be played later in the day.