by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The no.16 seed, Tristan Flore recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Ukraine’s Kou Lei, the top seed, in seven games (11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8) and thus avenged the reverse experienced earlier this year.
In the preliminary round of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha, Kou Lei had emerged successful in five games (11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-8).
Success against expectations for Tristan Flore, for his colleague, Quentin Robinot it was the reverse scenario; the no.20 seed, he was beaten in a similarly hard fought full distance duel by India’s Harmeet Desai, the no.22 seed (11-8, 10-12, 12-14, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7) who, by emerging successful, he prevented an all French semi-final.
Similar to Tristan Flore, it was a somewhat revenge win for Harmeet Desai; the most recent occasion when the two had met was the GAC Group 2013 ITTF World Tour China Open. On that occasion Quentin Robinot had prevailed in their first round Under 21 Men’s Singles encounter (8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11).
“Of course, now I plan to go even further. I created many chances during the quarter-final match. I lost the third game very closely. I tried to keep calm and continue to do what I had planned before the match. Honestly, I was little bit lucky in the seventh game, Quentin had some fitness or injury problems.” Harmeet Desai
Results contrary to seeding in the top half of the Men’s Singles draw at the quarter-final stage of proceedings. In the lower half it was not only progress as status demanded, it was progress at German expense.
Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.5 seed, ended the escapades of Wang Xi, the no.31 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9), whilst at the same time the defensive skills of Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.2 seed, eventually prevailed in seven games in opposition to the attacking attributes of Benedikt Duda, the no.9 seed (11-8, 12-10, 13-15, 7-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8).
The semi-finals and final of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 6th May.