22 Sep 2017

The combination of two right handers, one an attacking player, the other principally a defender is not the favoured option when confronting a highly skilful left hander and a powerful right hander; at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Hybiome Austrian Open in Linz, the theory was turned on its head.

Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther accounted for China’s Fang Bo and Zhou Yu in a quite dramatic five games encounter, emerging successful by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding game (3-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Fang Bo, the right hander and Zhou Yu, the left hander, required to compete in the qualification tournament, found the varieties of speed and spin extolled by the defensive artistry of Ruwen Filus and the consistent top spin play of Ricardo Walther, the no.7 seeds, just too much to answer.

“We are very happy to win this match; the Chinese are hard to beat. It’s also our first time making the final at a World Tour Platinum tournament, it’s good for us and we will fight for the gold. The match was tight throughout; I think we were a little bit lucky for us to win in the end.” Ruwen Filus

A first appearance in an ITTF World Tour Platinum tournament but not overall; Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther reached the final in Belarus in 2015 and earlier this year in India, on both occasions they finished in runners up spot.

In Belarus they were beaten by Denmark’s Jonathan Groth and Kasper Sternberg, in India by Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima.

Notably earlier this year Fang Bo and Zhou Yu won in Hungary; I would suggest that fact, rather than seeding, reflects the level of performance presented by the German duo.

At the final hurdle, Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther meet Japan’s Koki Niwa and Jin Ueda; the no.3 seeds, they booked their place in the title deciding contest courtesy of success against Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.6 seeds (12-10, 12-11, 11-9).

Success for the higher rated pairs at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event; it was the same in the Women’s Doubles competition. Not only was it success for the higher ranked; it was also the end of the road for those who had started their journey in the qualification tournament.

Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, beat the combination of Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and China’s Wang Yidi (11-9, 11-7, 11-4); the latter’s colleagues Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, the no.7 seeds, overcame Miyu Kato and Miyu Nasgasaki, also from Japan (11-6, 11-8, 11-6).

The finals of both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events will be played on the afternoon of Sunday 24th September.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Austrian Open Ruwen Filus Ricardo Walther

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2017 ITTF Hybiome Austrian Open