by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat for Anton Källberg meant that he fell one step short of repeating his achievement of 2015, when in Olomouc, he had reached his one and only ITTF World Tour Final; on that occasion he was beaten in the title deciding contest by Japan’s Yuya Oshima.
A surprise outcome in the lower half of the draw; in the upper half, depending on your point of view, it was the same scenario. Frenchman Can Akkuzu, the no.4 seed, accounted for Japan’s Yuto Kizukuri, the top seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-5).
According to seeding it was an upset but on their one prior meeting at a world ranking event, the decision had gone in favour of the Frenchman; at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon, he had emerged successful in their second round Men’s Singles qualification encounter. Only on that occasion life had been more testing; he needed six games to ensure victory (11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6).
Two upsets at the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; there was also a surprise in the same round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition. The winner one week earlier at the Seamaster 2017 World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open, Japan’s Mizuki Morizono, the no.2 seed, was beaten by Germany’s Nina Mittelham, the no.4 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8).
Success for Mizuki Morizono but not for her colleague, Asuka Sasao; in the counterpart semi-final, the no.3 seed, she was beaten by Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the top seed, in four games (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
Both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles finals are scheduled for later in the day.