by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Eventually, Lin Gaoyuan prevailed in seven games, emerging from a two games to nil deficit to secure victory (10-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6).
“It was a very tough match against Gardos, I have never played against him before; so I’m not familiar with his playing style. Also, it was awkward playing against him because of the way he returns the ball, inconsistent, very unique. After losing the first two games 10-12, I was under a lot of pressure, so I called a “Time Out” when trailing 0-3 in the third game; that broke his rhythm and gave me time to find mine. In the fifth game when I was leading 9-5, I lost the next six points straight, the spin on those six balls was very fast and I lost control of the rhythm.” Lin Gaoyuan.
Success for Lin Gaoyuan, as seeding predicted there were also successes for Japan’s Koki Niwa, Frenchman Simon Gauzy and Brazil’s Hugo Calderano.
Koki Niwa, the no.2 seed, beat Germany’s Ruwen Filus in seven games (10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7) and thus maintained his run of success against the German defender. Earlier this year on the ITTF World Tour in his native Japan, Koki Niwa had emerged successful.
Success for Koki Niwa as anticipated, it was the same for Simon Gauzy, the no.4 seed, when facing Masaki Yoshida, the no.9 seed; he prevailed in five games (3-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7). The win means that Simon Gauzy has now won the most recent four encounters in world ranking events against Masaki Yoshida.
Meanwhile, for Hugo Calderano there was an air of revenge; he had lost to Bastian Steger on their one previous international meeting, the Liebherr 2016 World Cup. In Linz he levelled the career score; the no.15 seed, he beat the German qualifier in six games (6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-5)
At the quarter-final stage Koki Niwa meets Lin Gaoyuan, Simon Gauzy opposes Hugo Calderano. Now that latter duel presents Jean-René Mounié with a problem. He is the coach of both Simon Gauzy and Hugo Calderano!
Matches in the round of the last eight and the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 23rd September.