by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Notably Kim Daewoo and Baek Hogyun both started play as the third highest rated players in their respective groups.
After the previous day accounting for Malaysia’s Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal, the leading name (5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8), Kim Daewoo concluded his itinerary by beating Singapore’s Lucas Tan (11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5).
“In the first half of the match I had some trouble adjusting to my opponent’s play. However, my play became more effective in the second half of the match. Especially in the last game, switching from short serves to long serves helped me win a lot of points and I was able to win the match.” Kim Daewoo
Similarly, Baek Hogyun following success against Austria’s Thomas Grininger (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9), overcame Frenchman Lilian Bardet (11-9, 11-5, 12-14, 11-9, 11-9).
Hard fought contests to conclude the group stage, it was less exacting for Hwang Minha; having in his opening match overcome India’s Raj Mondal (11-7, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8), he defeated Singapore’s Josh Chua Shao Han (11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9) to top the group.
However for Choi Woojin, it was the very opposite. In his concluding group phase duel, he lost to Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang in six games (11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11). Vitally, the previous day had beaten Germany’s Tobias Hippler, the top name in the group, in four straight games (11-9, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4), who in the immediate ensuing match had accounted for Li Hsing-Yan in seven games (7-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3).
Thus games decided, it was first place for Choi Woonjin (6:4), with Li Hsin-Yang second (7:6) and Tobias Hippler third (4:7).
Play in the main draw commences on Friday 18th May.