31 May 2017

Ovidiu Ionescu has won the hearts of the crowd in Düsseldorf with an amazing act of fair play.

by Wade Townsend

Romanians Ovidiu Ionescu and Adrian Crisan found themselves at 13-13 in the seventh against Patrick Franziska (GER) and Jonathan Groth (DEN).

In the rally that ensued the ball sailed long, and the umpire gave the point to the Romanians. However, the Danish player and coach believed that Crisan’s service had landed in the wrong half of the table.

Franziska himself didn’t see, but Groth was adamant that the service was a fault.

After much debate, Ionescu took Groth on his word and went against the umpires, flipping the score himself to give the German and Danish pair the point.

The move won applause from the crowd as play resumed.

However, good karma didn’t follow. The next point saw an unreturnable net, and Groth and Franziska took the match 15-13 in the seventh.

“It was a very strong move from Ionescu that he gave us this ball; it is fair play.” Patrick Franziska

A loss on the scoreboard for Ionescu but a victory in fair play. Sportsmanship at its finest.

Update: The referee team has submitted Ionescu’s act of sportsmanship for the Fair Play Award.

Correction: Article has been updated to accommodate new information.

Liebherr 2017 World Championships Patrick Franziska Adrian Crisan Jonathan Groff Ovidio Ionescu

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