by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Currently Liang Jinkun is named at no.41 on the Men’s World Rankings; Peng Wang-Wei is at no.301.
“I watched some videos of my opponent. Liang Jingkun may had some nerves, especially with service and receive. I just played one point at a time. I didn’t think whether I could win or not, just focus on every one ball.” Peng Wang-Wei
“I did not prepare fully, I was not familiar with my opponent’s playing style.” Liang Jingkun
Defeat for Liang Jingkun but amongst the principal names on duty, there were no similar problems; the only players to experience any great difficulties being Austria’s Robert Gardos and Korea’s Jang Woojin.
Listed at no.49 on the current Men’s World Rankings, Robert Gardos had to recover from a three games to nil deficit to beat 18 year old Andreas Levenko, named at no.205 (5-11, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3, 12-10).
Equally Jang Woojin endured some difficult times against Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chen before asserting his authority in six games (11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 11-1). Presently, Jang Woojin is named at no.34 on the Men’s World Rankings; Lai Chi-Chen has no status.
Meanwhile for other worthy names, it was success in the second round of the Men’s Singles qualification event without due alarm.
Notably two reigning continental champions emerged victorious. Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson, the European champions, beat Hung Tzu-Hsiang, like Lai Chi-Chen from Chinese Taipei (14-12, 11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 11-1); Egypt’s Omar Assar, the African champion accounted for Singapore’s Clarence Chew (11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3).
“It’s very special event. China is the best country in table tennis and also I have very good experiences in China. I’ve been many times and I like it so much. The last time I was here in Chengdu I was a junior, I won in 2010. I made a good start today. The Chinese fans are very sporting, they cheer so much, it motivates the players. I think all the players like it. I like it so much and I would like thank all the table tennis fans who came to watch our games and support us.” Omar Assar
The third and concluding round of the Men’s Singles event will be played later in the day.