by Wade Townsend
Lee Sangsu (KOR) made short work of Lin Gaoyuan (CHN) at the LION Japan Open this morning, winning 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7); but it is hardly a surprise.
The pair played three times in 2011. Lee won 4-1 on all three occasions. They haven’t played in an ITTF event since but obviously time has made little difference.
“Maybe my serves are very difficult for Lin to receive, so I can make a lot of offence. And today my condition is best. He played a lot of long topspin balls and I won these points.” Lee Sangsu
Lee is in form this month and isn’t slowing down. After a bronze medal in Düsseldorf at the World Championships, a holiday was out of the question.
“I didn’t have a break after the World Championships. Instead I was training to get used to the different ball.” Lee Sangsu
Emmanuel Lebesson (FRA) held a 2-0 lead against Fan Zhendong (CHN), and at 10-10 in the fourth it looked like he could pull within one game of the match. But Lebesson missed a forehand counter and a return of serve to give Fan the game, levelling the score 2-2. Fan then took full control, winning the next two games 11-7 and 11-3 to take the match 4-2.
“His service is unique and he plays his forehand over a wide range, and I wasn’t expecting those and played like how I would play against other players, giving him a lot of opportunities to attack.” Fan Zhendong
Meanwhile both Jun Mizutani (JPN) and Liang Jingkun (CHN) navigated their way to the quarter final stage.