by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Pride of place went to Yuki Matsuyama and Asuka Machi; Yuki Matsuyama accounted for Germany’s Patrick Franziska (14-12, 16-14, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7), Asuka Machi ended the hopes of Frenchman Tristan Flore 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 14-16, 11-8).
Currently 16 year old Yuki Matsuyama is named at no.158 on the Men’s World Rankings, Asuka Machi has no such status; the two Europeans share the no.50 spot. Furthermore, both Patrick Franziska and Tristan Flore have enjoyed success this year. Patrick Franziska was the silver medallist at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open; Tristan Flore at the ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open.
Success against the odds for Yuki Matsuyama and Asuka Machi; it was the same for Takuya Jin and Tonin Ryuzaki, players with no current world ranking.
Takuya Jin beat the Slovak Republic’s Wang Yang, listed at no.61 (11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7); Tonin Ryuzaki overcame Finland’s Benedek Olah, named at no.87 and the winner last year on the ITTF World Tour in Lagos (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 5-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7).
Wins against expectations for the host nation but there was a significant defeat, Kenji Matsudaira, ranked no.104, was beaten by Andrea Landrieu, like Tristan Flore from France; presently Andrea Landrieu is named at no.160 on the Men’s World Rankings. Impressively, Andrea Landrieu won in four straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5).
Surprises but not where the top two names in the top half of the second round draw were concerned. Maharu Yoshimura ended any further adventures of Japanese colleague, Yuto Kizukuri (8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9); China’s Lin Gaoyuan, who last week in Tokyo had been beaten by Korea’s in-form Lee Sangsu, overcame Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tai-Wei (11-4, 11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4).
“I lost a lot of matches recently; I lost to a foreign player in the Japan Open. This has affected my condition and confidence. I hope I can adjust myself well in a short time; with the World Championships experience, I am less nervous during a match and can control the pace much better. Now I need to improve my confidence.” Lin Gaoyuan
Defeat for Yuto Kizukuri in the Men’s Singles event but earlier in the day in the Men’s Doubles competition, partnering Tomokazu Harimoto, he had enjoyed success; the pair beat Aliaksandr Khanin and Gleb Shamruk of Belarus (11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8).
“As so many people come to watch the match, I feel really good. A bit nervous as it is the first match of this tournament; my speed was not that good. After the first match, I felt less nervous.” Tomokazu Harimoto.
Likewise, there had been success for Andrieu Landrieu; in harness with Roman Lorentz a five games win had been recorded in opposition to Singapore’s Gao Ning and Pang Xue Jie (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6).