23 Sep 2017

The hopes of China’s Fang Bo repeating the feat of four years earlier, when he won in the city of Wels, remained alive following the initial quarter-final contests in the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Hybiome Austrian Open in Linz on the morning of Saturday 23rd September.

Conversely the aspirations of the defending champion, Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira were dashed.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

One had to give; in the round of the last eight the two met with Fang Bo, the no.3 seed, recovering from a three games to one deficit to beat Kenta Matsudaira, the no.6 seed, in seven games (13-15, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4).

“At the start, I had a hard time focusing on the match, also because of the change in lighting in the venue, I didn’t adapt in time. I was in a daze in the first two games. It was only after trailing when I got into a situation to play my game. Overall I think I had things under control. At the start I wasn’t playing well, in the later part of the match I played normal and was able to win the match.” Fang Bo

Success for Fang Bo, one match later there was success for colleague, Yan An; the no.7 seed, he proved just too fast on the initial attack for Egypt’s Omar Assar (11-7, 15-13, 14-16, 11-4, 13-11).

Defeat for Omar Assar but a highly creditable performance; he started the journey in the qualification tournament and finished amongst the last eight names.

Notably the only prior occasion when the players had met on the international stage was in the Boys’ Team event at the 2008 World Junior Championships in the Spanish capital city of Madrid.

On that occasion Kenta Matsudaira had beaten Fang Bo in three straight games; Yan An had accounted for Omar Assar with the loss of just one game.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Austrian Open Omar Assar Fang Bo Kenta Matsudaira Yan An

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2017 ITTF Hybiome Austrian Open