by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
He beat Japan’s talented Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed; furthermore he secured victory in a most impressive manner; he won in five games (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9).
“It was a good match. I think the service was the key to get the advantage. Niwa is a really good player and he plays really fast. So the most important thing was to avoid giving him too much time. Of course, I believed I could win before the match but seriously, I knew it will be a tough match. Niwa is World ranking number seven, so he is a really good player and I am very happy that I played so well.” Mattias Karlsson
Success for Mattias Karlsson against the odds, in the remaining three matches in the second round of the Men’s Singles event in the lower half of the draw, it was success for the higher rated player.
The host nation’s Timo Boll, the no.2 seed, emerged successful in seven games against Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the 10 seed (11-3, 9-11, 11-13, 11-6, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7).
“I was challenged very hard, I was a little lucky but it was enough for the win. I had match point and I managed to do my most precise service which was really necessary. He gave me so many problems during the match. I often made wrong decisions. I am a perfectionist those things are annoying. I’m not the most athletic anymore so I have do good in tactic and technique.” Timo Boll
A hard fought win for Timo Boll, life was somewhat less exacting for Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.6 seed. He ended Korean hopes by beating Lee Sangsu, the no.12 seed (11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6).
“I’m very happy with my performance today, especially because I lost my last two encounters against him. Of course I came into the match well prepared, I feel I played, so I’m satisfied with my performance in this match. I definitely didn’t expect a four-nil win, I was prepared for a seven games match. He was very aggressive at the start so I had to get myself focused, ” Wong Chun Ting
Impressive performances but arguably the most impressive was China’s Ma Long, the no.5 seed, ended the hopes of Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.11 seed (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).
“I am playing the matches step by step. I think the most important thing is to focus on the individual match. I haven’t attended any World Tour events recently thus I’m in a new situation for a while; so it is crucial for me to focus on the match. I haven’t met Jun Mizutani since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I think he has improved his techniques, trying to adapt to the new ball. I think he was hoping to find some ways to initiative fast attacks during the match. I just want to have a good rest at the moment. In the tournament, you may have to play several matches in two to three days, both the doubles and the singles events. Some players don’t play the doubles. We need to have a good rest an get ready to adapt for the next matches.” Ma Long
At the semi-final stage Mattias Karlsson meets Wong Chun Ting, Tomo Boll confronts Ma Long.
“I’m already a little exited about the match but I know that everything has to work out perfectly against Ma Long.” Timo Boll
All Men’s Singles quarter-final matches are scheduled for later in the evening.