by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success for Hugo Calderano and air of revenge; last year at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open in Linz, he had been beaten by Kenta Matsudaira in the Men’s Singles final; two years ago, in the very same hall in Olomouc, he had experienced defeat in the very first round.
“I think I played really well, Kenta is a very good player; I lost to him before twice. It was a very tough match. He has good services but I managed to do well in the service receive game. I am very happy I won this match.” Hugo Calderano
A seven games win for Hugo Calderano; quite incredibly it was the sixth second round match that went the full distance. Earlier in the day in the top half of the draw Germany’s Timo Boll, Sweden’s Pär Gerell and Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson alongside Japan’s Jin Ueda had all emerged victorious in full distance duels.
In the lower half of the draw, Kristian Karlsson, like Pär Gerell from Sweden, needed to full seven games to end the hopes of Tristan Flore; just as compatriot Emmanuel Lebesson had earlier succeeded in a full distance duel, so Tristan Flore perished (11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4).
Somewhat similarly, Tomakazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed, was involved in an exacting contest; he needed six games to beat colleague, Maharu Yoshimura, the no.15 seed (11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).
Notably, the only player to sail through without a hiccup was Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the 16 year old is enjoying the tournament of his life. He ended Chinese hopes; he beat Fang Yinchi in four straight games (11-8, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4).
Eight matches, six needed seven games, one required six and the only one that was won in comfort was when China was hit for six; when did that last happen?
At the quarter-final stage in the lower half of the draw, Tomokazu Harimoto meets Kristian Karlsson, Lin Yu-Ju opposes Hugo Calderano.
The Men’s Singles quarter-final matches commence following the first two Women’s Singles contests in the round of the last eight; those exchanges begin at 10.00am on Saturday 26th August.