05 May 2018

Top seeds, Germany reserved their place in the final of the Men’s event at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad by emerging successful at the semi-final stage on the evening of Saturday 5th May.

However, they were stretched to very limit by Korea, the no.5 seeds, the player to guide the reigning European champions to victory was Timo Boll; the man to seal the victory was Patrick Franziska.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

In the second match of the fixture Timo Boll beat Jeoung Youngsik (12-10, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5) after in the opening match, Patrick Franziska had experienced defeat at the hands of Lee Sangsu (11-5, 5-11, 8-11, 5-11).

Later, in the fourth contest of the engagement with Germany once again in arrears, after a below form Dimitrij Ovtcharov had experienced defeat at the hands of an in form Jang Woojin (6-11, 5-11, 6-11); Timo Boll came to the rescue; in a classic encounter he overcame Lee Sangsu (9-11, 11-8, 3-11, 13-11, 12-10).

Against Jeoung Youngsik, the opening two games were both on a knife-edge. In the second game at 9-8 Jeoung Youngsik called “Time Out”, he held game point at 10-9, Timo Boll levelled and after a moment of thought he called for the break. It did not bear fruit; Jeong Youngsik won the next two points.

Win a close game and confidence grows; the theory worked in exactly the opposite direction. Timo Boll dominated the fourth and fifth games.

“He’s had a good tournament, he is in good shape but I am also in good shape. Throughout the match I tried to attack quickly.” Timo Boll

A contest of high quality exchanges, it was the same in the match against Lee Sangsu; an engagement that required five games to determine the outcome. In the fifth game Timo Boll won the first three points, Lee Sangsu elected for “Time Out”, he levelled at 4-all but at the change of ends Timo Boll held the one point advantage.

Attacking quickly, Timo Boll extended his lead to 7-4, Lee Sangsu responded he won the next five points before at 10-9 Timo Boll held match point. Lee Sangsu levelled, a massive stroke of fortune as the ball hit the top of net and trickled over; then serving he served into the net to give Timo Boll a second match point. On this occasion the German converted.

“A lot of energy was needed in this match, I was moving well. The match was totally open; Lee Sangsu played really well; either of us could have won. It was just a bit of luck either way or whatever.” Timo Boll

Matters level, Patrick Franziska secured the victory; against Jeoung Youngsik he won the first two games in impressive style but after he lost the third, one wondered if a memorable Korean recovery was on the cards. It was not to be the outcome, Patrick Franziska maintained his nerve; Germany celebrated (11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9). Pertinently, so did Jörg Rosskopf, the Head Coach; as the fourth game neared the conclusion with Patrick Franziska leading 10-9, his head was bowed looking at the floor!

“Unbelievable, it was such a tight match, the Korean team played really well; to reach the final was our big goal.” Patrick Franziska

China now awaits, the final is scheduled for 2.30pm (local time) on Sunday 6th May.

2018 World Team Championships Timo Boll

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Day 8 - Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships

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