by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
He beat Chinese Taipei’s 36 year old Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.2 seed; furthermore he emerged successful in four straight games (11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8).
The win not only underlines the progress Wang Chuqin has made since we first saw him compete in 2012 on the ITTF World Junior Circuit on home soil in Taicang; it also endorses the fact that he is one of the favourites for gold in the Men’s Singles event at the forthcoming Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
“I made a close study of my opponent for this match; I played my strong attacking game. I think Chuang Chih-Yuan was not at his best.” Wang Chuqin
“He caused me a lot of problem with his services. I could not read them at all, so I was not able to control the points.” Chuang Chih-Yuan
Success for Wang Chuqin, who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, there was also second round Men’s Singles success for one further player who had been required to compete in the preliminary stages.
Germany’s Patrick Franziska who, with Jörg Rosskopf the national coach sitting courtside, had ousted Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.8 seed, in the opening round (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5), continued his good form. He beat Ukraine’s Kou Lei, the no.12 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-2, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7).
“Patrick is having a good tournament after beating Vladi, his confidence is high; this helped him to beat Lei. They know each other really well, it was a massive tactical battle; the match was decided in the short-short game and then who was the first to start the rally.”Jörg Rosskopf
Impressive from Patrick Franziska but the outcome could hardly be considered an upset. At the Zen-Noh 2013 World Team Championships in Tokyo, Patrick Franziska had beaten Kou Lei in the group stage of the Men’s event; two years later at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou, once again he prevailed, he emerged successful in their fourth round Men’s Singles clash.
Success two qualifiers, for a third it was defeat but a narrow defeat and more disappointment for Chinese Taipei; Liao Cheng-Ting suffered at the hands of Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.4 seed (6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3).
Two defeats for Chinese Taipei and there was almost one more; Chen Chien-An, the no.7 seed, lost the first three games against Spain’s Alvaro Robles, the no.14 seed, before winning the fourth by the minimal two point margin and then progressing to secure victory (9-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8, 11-7).
“I played too fast at the start. I had to slow down the tempo of my game to gain control; my coach told me to vary my receive of serve more.” Chen Chien-An
“This is a big lesson for me, going three-nil up and not finishing the match. I let him escape and then it became hard to control the play.” Alvaro Robles
At the quarter-final stage Hugo Calderano confronts Patrick Franziska in the top of the draw; in the lower half Chen Chien-An opposes Wang Chuqin.
Matches in the last eight of the Men’s Singles event are due to start at approximately 1.50pm (local time) on Saturday 20th January.