Tournaments

15 Dec 2017

Fan Zhendong has booked safe passage through to the semi-finals of the Men's Singles competition at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Astana, Kazakhstan following a strong performance from the 20-year-old Chinese star against fellow countryman Xu Xin on Friday 15th December.

by Simon Daish

The two players met in the Men’s Singles final at the recent ITTF World Tour tournament held in Stockholm, Sweden where pen-hold specialist Xu Xin emerged with the gold medal.

Competing against one another once again a month later at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals it was a very different outcome as Fan Zhendong earned his second consecutive victory of the campaign in Astana.

While the four games to one scoreline may suggest a relatively straightforward day at the office for Fan Zhendong the reality is that Xu Xin put up a very decent fight, however, it was the former of the two players who held the edge on this occasion (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10).

“Playing against Xu Xin, our levels are very close so the on court performance is more important. Today, I was able to take the crucial points to win the match, so I’m still very happy. If I was going to face Ovtcharov, that would be in the final. If there’s chance of that, of course I hope to win against him in the final. There’s still a semi-finals match tomorrow, regardless who my opponent will be, I will have to be fully prepared to play my best.” Fan Zhendong.

Providing the opposition for Fan Zhendong in the lower half of the semi-finals draw is Timo Boll after the German star navigated a tough quarter-finals showdown with Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting.

36-year-old Timo Boll found himself two games to one down for the second match in a row and once again he recovered with three consecutive game wins (4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-3) to advance through to the next round.

“It was again very close, the fifth game was very important. He came back very well and I had to force myself to every ball. Everyone is very tired at this moment, it’s the last tournament of the season. For both of us, I think it’s not only a fight against each other, but also a fight against yourself. I think I’m the hunter, I’m in the comfortable position but I try to give everything, that’s all I can do. I have a lot of self confidence so I will try my best and hope in the end that I will win. But he’s an outstanding player and it will be very difficult.” Timo Boll.

The Men’s Singles tournament will return on Saturday 16th December with quarter-finals action from 13.50pm (local time).

2017 Seamaster ITTF World Tour Grand Finals Fan Zhendong Timo Boll
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Day 4 - Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals