by Simon Daish
Last year Stefan Fegerl was named as the third seed for the Men’s Singles event but was left disappointed following a Round of 32 exit to Germany’s Ruwen Filus.
The 2017 edition of the competition sees the Austrian competitor enter the seeding list in position 12; Fegerl will face stiff opposition in Linz with the likes of Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Wong Chun Ting entering the frame.
China is also fielding a strong contingent with Fang Bo and Yan An both travelling to Austria as seeds in the Men’s Singles category while Lin Gaoyuan, Liang Jingkun and Zhou Yu will be major forces to contend with in the two-day qualification tournament which precedes the Austrian Open.
“I know the others from a training camp I attended at the beginning of August in Beijing. At least four of them have the quality behind Ma Long to be potential World champions”, Stefan Fegerl.
Fegerl, 28, has been competing at the top level of world table tennis for many a year but some of his standout career moments have come in recent years including a gold medal win with the Austrian men’s team at the Liebherr 2015 European Championships and a Men’s Singles silver medal finish at the 2015 Polish Open having picked up a sensational victory against former Grand Slam champion Zhang Jike in the penultimate round.
The Austrian will be looking to progress beyond the Round of 32 of the Men’s Singles competition for the first time on the ITTF World Tour in 2017 when he takes to the table in front of the home fans in Linz, and Fegerl heads to the event with nothing but great memories of competing in the city.
“I owe Linz very much, I played there at the 2005 World Junior Championships with Feng Xiaoquan in the doubles. Four years later we reached a strong fifth place at the World Team Cup with former world champion Werner Schlager, Chen Weixing and Robert Gardos. Last year I also felt great support here”, Stefan Fegerl.
Both Chen Weixing and Robert Gardos, who were members of the Austrian team which secured a fifth place finish at the 2009 World Team Cup, have also entered the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Hybiome Austrian Open.
Source: Austrian Table Tennis Federation