by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
At the quarter-final stage, Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth beat the French combination of Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.7 seeds (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4), prior to accounting for the Chinese combination of Fang Yinchi and Xue Fei, together for the first time at an ITTF World Tour tournament (11-8, 13-11, 15-13).
Success at the semi-final stage and success once again in opposition to Fang Yinchi; last year in the final of the Men’s Doubles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open in Linz, Patrick Franziska and Jonathan Groth beat Fang Yinchi and Zhu Cheng to claim the title.
Impressive from the European duo, no deciding fifth game required, life was very different for Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura; seeking their second successive title, having won the previous week in Bulgaria, they experienced problems.
In the round of the last eight pairs, they were severely tested by Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther, the no.5 seeds and runners up earlier this year in New Delhi; they were extended the full five games only emerging successful by the very minimal margin in the decider (8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 12-10).
A close call at the quarter-final stage, it was almost as close against the newly formed combination of Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Frenchman Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seeds. Success by three points was the eventual margin, Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura being required to recover from a two games to nil deficit (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8).
The final is scheduled for Sunday 27th August and follows immediately the Women’s Doubles final, listed to commence at 12.00 noon (local time).