by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Three years ago when he emerged successful in the Croatian city, he accounted for Misaki Yoshida in the final; if he is to repeat the success in De Haan, he will have to do the same again, he will have to beat a Japanese adversary.
In the opposite half of the draw, the staggering progress of both 16 year old Yukiya Yuda and 18 year Masaki Takami continued.
Masaki Takami accounted for Sweden’s Simon Ardvisson (6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4). No disrespect to Simon Ardvisson, who in the same year as Ricardo Walther won in Zagreb was the runner up in De Haan, beaten by Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus in the final, but his defeat was only back page news.
The front page belonged to Yukiya Uda, he accounted for Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seed and the player who had been integral to German success at the recent Liebherr 2017 European Team Championships; Yukiya Uda won in six games (6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4).
Yukiya Uda versus Masaki Takami in the penultimate round; in the opposite half of the draw Ricardo Walther faces Korea’s Kim Donghyun, the no.8 seed, in the round of the last eight he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.20 seed (9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6).
Now could the Japanese camp be hoping for a Ricardo Walther win even though he is the higher rated player?
In the third round Masaki Tokami beat Benedikt Duda, one round later Yukiya Uda accounted for Patrick Franziska, seems they have a liking for Germany opponents; not good news for Ricardo Walther!