by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Currently listed at no.90 on the Men’s World Rankings, in the contest against Hong Kong, the no. 4 seeds, after colleagues Adar Alguetti and Feng Yijun had lost to Ho Kwan Kit and Ng Pak Nam (11-7, 11-3, 11-3), the 17 year old American excelled.
He beat Wong Chun Ting, presently listed at no.7 in the global order. Impressively Kanak Jha prevailed in three straight games (11-8, 12-10, 11-8).
“I’m really happy with the result; I just went out there and told myself to fight. I had nothing to lose; just forget the score and play. We were one-nil down but we knew Hong Kong was strong in the doubles. I was focused, I received service well. It was the first time I’d played him but I’d watched him play, so I had a good idea how he served. He plays with a great deal of top spin but today my backhand was good and I was able to control the play, I blocked well. I tried to play safe not take too many risks.” Kanak Jha
Success for Kanak Jha but it was not to ignite a major recovery. Ho Kwan Kit beat Feng Yijun (11-9, 12-10, 11-8) to restore Hong Kong’s advantage before Wong Chun Ting returned to the fray; he accounted for Adar Alguetti to end matters (11-2, 13-11, 11-5).
A three-one success for Hong Kong; as the first session of play came to a conclusion, Germany, the no.3 seeds, beat Australia by three matches to nil.
Ruwen Filus and Patrick Franziska combined to overcome David Powell and Kane Townsend (12-10, 11-5, 11-1); Dimitrij Ovtcharov accounted for Heming Hu to extend the lead (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-4), prior to Patrick Franziska defeating Kane Townsend (11-6, 11-6, 11-6) to close the curtain.
Later in the day at 5.00pm (local time), Germany faces Korea, the no.5 seeds; Hong Kong opposes Brazil, the no.6 seeds.