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.