by Simon Daish
Both players entered the match in positive form, and considering that Kenta Tazoe and Kenji Matusdaira weren’t named as seeds for the event made their appearance in the quarter-finals that extra bit more impressive.
Kenta Tazoe and Kenji Matusdaira were both enjoying strong campaigns in Panagyurishte and were expected to produce a close battle in their encounter, an expectation which was met much to the benefit of the crowd.
The match was somewhat of a roller coaster experience for the spectators as Tazoe’s amazing start resulted in a commanding three games to nil lead, but then out of nowhere there was a huge momentum swing and Matsudaira responded with three consecutive game wins of his own to draw the tie level at three games apiece.
Nothing could separate the two players after the opening 20 points of the deciding game so deuce was required, and eventually Tazoe edged two points ahead to claim a spectacular four games to three victory (11-9, 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 10-12, 11-13, 12-10).
Success for Tazoe, but waiting in the last four is another fixture against a member of the Matsudaira family, this time brother Kenta.
Facing the number five seed Jin Ueda in the quarter-finals, Kenta Matsudaira lived up to expectations as the second seed prevailed in five ends (8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 2-11, 5-11) and will look to avenge his brother’s exit in the last four when he takes on Kenta Tazoe.