by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Maharu Yoshimura, the no.12 seed, commenced proceedings by overcoming Timo Boll’s colleague, Ricardo Walther, a player who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament.
After losing the opening game, Maharu Yoshimura recovered to secure the next four (4-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8) to level his career score against the German.
It was the fourth time the pair had met in an international tournament; the outcome being very different to their most recent encounter when last October Ricardo Walther had beaten Maharu Yoshimura in four straight games at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open.
Earlier in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event on the 2010 ITTF World Tour in Sweden, Ricardo Walther had also emerged successful; the one win for Maharu Yoshimura had been somewhat ironically on Ricardo Walther’s home soil. He had prevailed in the Men’s Singles qualification stage at the GAC Group 2014 German Open in Magdeburg.
Defeat for Ricardo Walther was immediately balanced by Timo Boll; he overcame Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira in four straight games (11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10) and thus retained his unblemished record against the young man who in Cairo in 2006 had been crowned World Junior champion.
Timo Boll had confronted Kenta Matsudaira on the ITTF World Tour in Poland in 2008 and the following year in England; on both occasions he had won in straight games. It was the same in Incheon.
At the semi-final stage Timo Boll meets Maharu Yoshimura; the match will be contested later in the day.