by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
However, the wins were in contrasting fashions. Liu Dingshuo found Jonathan Groth, the no.13 seed, a more than worthy adversary.
Impressively, the Danish left hander, coached by Linus Mernsten, mounted a spirited recovery; after losing a close fourth game, he extended his adversary, who one week earlier on Saturday 13th January had celebrated his 20th birthday, the full distance (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-2).
“I believed in myself all the way through. I played the way I wanted in the last game; everything came together. I did not make any unforced errors. I am ready for the semi-final.” Liu Dingshuo
“I am really proud of Jonathan, very good sprit very good focus. We all know we need to be faster and stronger against Chinese players, we are almost there. If we could play them more often I am sure our results will improve against them.” Linus Mernsten.
Conversely, 17 year old Wang Chuqin was in control from start to finish; he found fellow left hander, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An, the no.7 seed, very much to his liking. In control from start to finish, he emerged successful in four straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6).
“I came to the match well prepared; I analysed Chen Chien-An with my coach before we played. At beginning of the match, it was difficult to get used his movement and style; once I figured him out I could execute my plans.” Wang Chuqin
A fine performance from one talented left hander; there was a fine performance from another, the difference being that it was to be in defeat. In the match that commenced play in the quarter-final round of the Men’s Singles event, Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the no.6 seed, was beaten by top seed, China’s Fan Zhendong in five games (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
“This was a very good match on a high level; both of us played really well. I enjoyed it a great deal; I hope I can play at the same level in the semi-final.” Fan Zhendong
“I went the out very confident believing and fighting no matter what; I was trying engage him in short to short play and avoid his banana flick; it worked really well. I had my chances today but I am really proud of myself and the fight I put out there.” Kristian Karlsson.
Three players from China successful in the round of the last eight; the one interloper to materialise was Brazil’s Hugo Calderano. The no.4 seed, he accounted for Germany’s Patrick Franziska (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7), a player like Liu Dingshuo and Wang Chqin who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament.
“The last twice I have played Patrick I have lost. I prepared with a good plan today. I varied my serves and played strongly in the open game. Now I have Fan Zhendong in the semi-final, I’ll fight and give it my best shot.” Hugo Calderano
“He was very clever today, he used very good tactics and maybe I made some mistakes, all in all I’ve had an amazing tournament here in Budapest.” Patrick Franziska
Closely fought between two evenly matched players, the fifth game proving vital, Hugo Calderano emerged victorious (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7).
At the semi-final stage Fan Zhendong awaits Hugo Calderano; Liu Dingshuo confronts Wang Chuqin. The matches are scheduled for later in the day commencing at 8.10pm (local time).