by Wade Townsend
Xu Xin came back from 5-10 down in the seventh to win 12-10 against Lin Gaoyuan and move in to the quarterfinals of the Men’s Singles.
It all had looked over when Xu served a fault at 5-9, gifting Lin his match points. Xu Xin had lost in the last 16 in two out of his three World Championship appearances and it looked like another early exit.
After some lucky edges, he levelled the score 10-10 and didn’t look back, closing out the match 12-10.
Xu Xin acknowledged his luck after the match, and also revealed his method to find the win here Düsseldorf.
“I’m very thankful for the ball and for the table. The last round really depend on one’s will power. My tactics are not as advanced as Lin Gaoyuan. His playing methods are faster and he adapts to to the new balls better. I used a method where I mess up the opponent’s rhythm.” Xu Xin
Lin Gaoyuan will be disappointed, and it will be back to the drawing board to improve his mental game for the next big event.
“I perform pretty well when I play against foreign players, and I haven’t lost to them before. I also have experience playing against athletes from my own country, but I lack experience when it comes to major competitions. When I saw that I was about to win, my emotions started fluctuating. When I was fighting in the beginning my mood was fine, but when I was ahead, problems emerged in my mental game. In the future, I need to improve my mentality.” Lin Gaoyuan
In the final last 16 match in the Men’s Singles here in Düsseldorf Koki Niwa broke the hearts of the German fans, taking down hometown favourite Dimitrij Ovtcharov 11-9 in seventh.
Niwa came out swinging for the fences, nailing counter forehands left, right and centre.
“I knew I had to play forehands to win against him if I was going to win.” Koki Niwa
For Ovtcharov it was difficult task to come up with answer against someone who couldn’t miss.
“It’s very tough, I barely can remember when I played against an opponent who take all the risk and basically never misses. It was very tough to play and to find a tactic against him. Nevertheless, I tried to play my game and most of the time it worked well. I had a big chance in the second set where I was leading 6-2, especially in the fourth game at 10-8, and at 8-6 I had a good ball; these were my chances.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov
After the match Ovtcharov thanked the fans for the support he received today and throughout the week.
“The fans gave me strength and confidence and I’m so very glad they came out to see me play.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov