by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Eventually the extra power which Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura were able to exert proved a telling factor against the much younger combination of the 13 year old Tomokazu Harimoto and 16 years of age Yuto Kizukuru.
“Playing in this kind of tournaments has nothing to do with their age, they are very strong players so we just focused on ourselves and play at our best.” Maharu Yoshimura
Winning the third game was crucial, it gave Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura breathing space; in the fourth game they went ahead 4-1; understandably, they had little choice, Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri called “Time Out”.
Showing a maturity beyond their tender years, they recovered to level at 9-all but they were never able to establish a lead. At 10-9 it was match point to Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura; a fearsome forehand from the former ended matters.
“One year ago I partnered Kizukuri but I’m not very good when partnering left handed players. I’m very surprised that this time we can make it into final.” Tomokazu Harimoto
Success for Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura in what was their third ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final as a partnership. Notably, in all three occasions in the title decider they have faced Japanese colleagues.
In 2013 on home soil in Yokohama, they beat Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa in the final; one year later in the Czech Republic, they were beaten by Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima.
“Usually I pair with left-handed players but we have paired with each other three years ago, so this time even, Yoshimura is a right-handed player, we are very familiar with each other.” Jin Ueda
It is only the second time that a Japanese pair has won the Men’s Doubles title at an ITTF World Tour tournament in China; in 2009 in Suzhou, Seiya Kishikawa and Jun Mizutani emerged successful, at the final hurdle on that occasion they caused quite a sensation. They beat Xu Xin and Zhang Jike in the final.
Now in 2017, the outcome may not be considered sensational but to own the Men’s Doubles title at an ITTF World Tour tournament in China is a special prize.
Furthermore, Maharu Yoshimura is becoming the doubles master. At the recent Liebherr 2017 World Championships, he won the Mixed Doubles title in partnership with Kasumi Ishikawa.