14 Nov 2017

Success by the narrowest of margins, add to the scenario against expectations, the confidence gained may well lead to greater things; so it proved for England’s Tom Jarvis in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm.

On the opening day of play, the 17 year old beat the host nation’s Hampus Soderlund by the very narrowest of decisions (11-7, 6-11, 15-17, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10); it was success against the odds, presently Tom Jarvis is named at no.348 on the Men’s World Rankings, the Swede is at no.226.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

A most creditable performance, one day later on Tuesday 14th November, the performance was even more creditable; he caused a major upset by overcoming Singapore’s Gao Ning, one of the more experienced players on duty in Stockholm.

Furthermore, there was no seventh game drama; Tom Jarvis emerged successful in five games (13-11, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-3).

Presently Gao Ning, safe and sound, minimal emotion is now listed at no.46 on the Men’s World Rankings; he may be slipping down the global order a little but he is a player of high pedigree.

He has two ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles titles to his credit, winning in 2007 in India and in 2012 in Chile; in April 2008 he reached no.9 on the Men’s World Rankings but was the high point of his career not the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals staged in London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre in late November 2011?

In the opening round he beat Korea’s Ryu Seungmin; then at the quarter-final stage he ousted China’s Ma Lin. At the time they were the two most recent Olympic Games Men’s Singles gold medallists!

“Gao Ning is a well-known player and I knew how he played, he’s good in the rallies so I knew that I had to be safe. Today my serve and receive was good and that enabled me to be strong on the first attack. I focused on playing backhand to backhand against him. I knew this was a really big chance to beat a top player. For sure the win over Hampus yesterday gave me confidence; living and practising in Halmstad is helping me enormously, the level of practise is so intense.” Tom Jarvis

In Halmstad, the home for the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships, Tom Jarvis is able to practise with the likes of Mattias Karlsson, Pär Gerell, Elias Ranefur and his colleague Liam Pitchford.

It is a somewhat similar setting to his home in England; that may be open to question but Skegness like Halmstad, is a coastal town. The sea air is bracing. It’s where you take your bucket and spade and eat fish and chips out of newspaper; sheer paradise.

Furthermore, Tom Jarvis is not the only celebrated junior from the area; the other is Brian Hill. He was amongst the best young players in England in the early 1960s and still today you will see his name in Men’s Singles events at Veteran tournaments.

See, fish and chips from Skeggy does you a world of good, also it seems to be working well for Tom Jarvis!

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Swedish Open Tom jarvis

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2017 ITTF Swedish Open