by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After levelling matters by securing the fourth game, Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth held the upper hand when the players changed ends in the deciding fifth game; they led 5-2.
Urged forward by the local supporters they levelled at 7-all; the next four points were shared before at 10-9 the Koreans held match point; it was saved but when the second chance came at 11-10 it was converted.
“We are very happy to win the first title of the year, as it´s also the first time we have played doubles together! We were supposed to play together at the Asian Championships last week in Wuxi but because of Jeong Youngsik wrist injury we were forced to change the pairs. After losing in the single event in early stages we could focus on doubles. It was a great experience to play and win on home soil in front of a big crowd.” Jang Woojin
It was the first ever ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles win for the Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun as a partnership, with once again Jang Woojin causing Patrick Franziska heartache.
Jang Woojin has now won three ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles, both times with Korean colleagues. Last year in Belarus, he partnered Lim Jonghoon to success; the pair beating the Russian combination of Konstantin Chernov and Sadi Ismailov in the final.
However, one year earlier in Austria, Jang Woojin had won in harness with Lee Sangsu; the pair to suffer, Patrick Franziska and his German colleague, Bastian Steger.
“I have a problem now with my right shoulder after the final, when I was 17 years old I had a tendon injury.” Jeong Sangeun
Meanwhile, for Jeong Sangeun, success in Incheon means that he has two ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles titles to his name. In 2015 in Hungary, partnering Lee Sangsu; the pair accounted for Russia’s Viachaslev Burov and Alexey Liventsov in the final.
Defeat for Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth; it is the first time when reaching an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final that they have experienced defeat.
In 2016 they won in Austria beating China’s Fan Yinchi and Zhu Cheng in the final, having earlier in the year in Croatia, overcome Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu to reserve the top step of the podium,
On home soil Korea extracted revenge.