by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Two quite astounding runs of success; one adventure had to come to an end as each player strove for their first ever appearance in an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final.
Lim Jonghoon, like Patrick Franziska, had started his journey in the qualification tournament. However, it was Patrick Franziska who prevailed and in so doing he achieved a feat which the man sitting courtside advising never achieved. Jörg Rosskopf, despite all his success, never reached the final of an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles event.
Success for Patrick Franziska, earlier in the evening it had been success for Timo Boll against Maharu Yoshimura; an engagement which proved a repeat of their one and only previous contest in a World ranking event. The prior meeting had been in Bremen at the 2012 ITTF World Tour German Open.
On that occasion, they met in the first round of the Men’s Singles event. Timo Boll, the top seed, after losing the opening game, dominated the contest to win in five games (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6). However, since those days Maharu Yoshimura, now 23 years old, is a much more mature player than the somewhat unpredictable teenager we once beheld. The contest in Incheon was much more exacting.
Notably five years ago in Bremen, after beating Maharu Yoshimura, Timo Boll progressed to the final; in Incheon his win had the same effect.
However, in Bremen, he had to settle for runners up spot; he was beaten by his German colleague Dimitrij Ovtcharov (8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-8); a good omen for Patrick Franziska?
The final of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Sunday 23rd April.