by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Two weeks earlier at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open, at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, Joe Seyfried had led China’s Xue Fei 10-6 in the vital fifth game. He lost the next six points. Xue Fei progressed to win the title.
In Bremen that escapade had to be wiped from the mind; Joe Seyfried succeeded.
The no.4 seed, at the final hurdle he beat Sweden’s Truls Moregard, the no.15 seed, a young man who ever since reaching the final of the Boys’ Singles event at the 2017 World Junior Championships has moved to a new level; Joe Seyfried prevailed in four games (14-12, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7).
Impressive in the final, one round earlier he had been arguably even more impressive, he had beaten Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.11 seed in three straight games, affording his adversary a meagre 12 points (11-9, 11-2, 11-1). At the same stage in a rather more closer contest, Truls Moregard had ended the progress of Korea’s An Jaehyun, the no.28 seed (9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6).
“I feel very happy because this is my first Under 21 title and it’s in Germany, the competition is tough especially with strong Chinese and Japanese players competing. I have played against Moregard before and always managed to play very well. Before the match I prepared well together with my coach so we knew the tactics to win this match. It was difficult as sometimes he serves very long, and I didn’t like that; he has good backhand and a very fast block, so I tried to play more to his forehand.” Joe Seyfried
Victory, it is the 25th time that France has been the successful country in an ITTF World Tour Under 21 Men’s Singles event; Joe Seyfried is the 15th Frenchman to achieve the feat.