by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Recovery after recovery attributed to experience perhaps but most importantly to remaining calm and playing consistently was the hallmark of Timo Boll’s win.
Score in the match level at one game each, Timo Boll performed quite a remarkable recovery in the third game to emerge successful. He trailed 1-5 before winning seven of the next eight points to eventually secure the game 11-8.
A remarkable recovery, in the fourth game the recovery was even more remarkable. Timo Boll trailed 1-8 before winning eight of the next nine points to lead 10-9 and eventually secure the game 12-10.
Chances missed, Tomokazu Harimoto was clearly affected at the start of the fifth game; Timo Boll established a 5-1 lead, the Japanese teenager recovered somewhat but the German was not to be denied. Timo Boll went ahead 8-5, he did not lose another point; a meeting the next day with colleague Dimitrij Ovtcharov was booked.
Fighting back was the order of the day from Timo Boll; one match earlier it had been the same for Dimitrij Ovtcharov against Wong Chun Ting but not in quite such a dramatic fashion.
Wong Chun Ting led by two games to one; in the fourth game after having established an advantage, Dimitrij Ovtcharov was just one point ahead at 9-8; he called “Time Out”, it proved a prudent decision. He progressed to win the game and thus levelled matters.
The close win undoubtedly boosted the confidence of the German; positive, he dominated the fifth game, before in the sixth moving into a 4-2 lead. Seeing storm clouds looming, Wong Chun Ting elected for “Time Out”. The immediate effect worked in his favour; he won the next three points but was never able to increase the lead.
Utilising his full range of services, Dimtrij Ovtcharov established an 8-5 lead, the stage at which the ball broke and a brief discussion ensued as to whether the point she be replayed. The point stood. Wong Chun Ting reduced the deficit to one at 8-7 but that was to be the last point he won; at 10-8 Dimitrij Ovtcharov held match point, he converted at the first attempt.
The final is scheduled for the afternoon of the concluding day of play, Sunday 25th June.