by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The more senior player in question was Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the teenager was no run of the mill teenager; it was Japan’s exceptional Tomokazu Harimoto.
Required to compete in the qualification tournament, Marcos Freitas overcame Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.16 seed, in six games (9-11, 11-8, 16-14, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8) to reserve his place in the second round of proceedings.
“It always a good feeling when you win. It was a difficult match; he’s a good player and has proved himself against top players, so I just tried to play my game. I played quite well, I just tried to put one more ball back on the table each time and to win each point. In short game, Harimoto is very good, every time I received short, he flicked it very fast and it was very difficult for me to guess where the ball was going. Also, his service was good, I did not receive his serves well; his backhand receive of the first ball was also very good, in the beginning I was a little bit surprised but I gradually managed to find a way to win.” Marcos Freitas
Success for Marco Freitas but in the lower half of the draw in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event, he was the only qualifier to emerge successful.
Nonetheless, there were close calls. Frenchman Simon Gauzy, the no.11 seed, needed to full seven games to beat Japan’s Jin Ueda (12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5), as did Chinese Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.13 seed, when opposing the host nation’s Ruwen Filus (9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 5-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5).
Similarly, Jun Mizutani, like Jin Ueda also from Japan, experienced testing times; the no.6 seed, he was extended the full distance by Germany’s Bastian Steger (5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-7).
Disappointment for the home country but there was success, Timo Boll, the no.4 seed, prevailed against Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (4-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6).
Impressive from Timo Boll, it was the same from Korea’s Lee Sangsu as well as from China’s Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyuan.
Lee Sangsu, the no.14 seed, accounted for Poland’s Jakub Dyjas (6-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-3, 11-8), Lin Gaoyuan, the no.8 seed, overcame Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura (11-9, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4); Xu Xin, the no.2 seed, halted the progress of Japan’s Yuya Oshima (11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).
In round two, Timo Boll meets Simon Gauzy, Chuang Chih-Yuan confronts Lin Gaoyuan; meanwhile Jun Mizutani opposes Lee Sangsu, for Marcos Freitas, the opponent is Xu Xin.
The matches will be played on Saturday 11th November.