by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Not seeded, the journey for Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort started in the qualification tournament; a place in the quarter-finals booked, on the penultimate day of action they progressed from strength to strength.
In a closely contested five games encounter, they beat the French pairing of Irvin Bertrand and Andrea Landrieu, likewise qualifiers, before ousting Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Kenta Tazoe, the no.2 seeds (9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-7).
Most certainly it was a win of note, especially when the pedigree of the left handed Masataka Morizono is taken into consideration. Partnering Yuya Oshima, twice he has won the Men’s Doubles title at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals; last year the pair finished in runners up spot at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, whilst earlier this year he partnered Mima Ito to Mixed Doubles gold at the Japanese National Championships.
Success against expectations for Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort; for Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sanil Shetty it was very much according to expectations.
At the quarter-final stage they beat Malaysian qualifiers Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal and Lee Chee Feng (11-5, 11-8, 11-8), prior to overcoming colleagues Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3).
The finals are scheduled to start at 4.00 pm (local time) on Sunday 20th May; the Men’s Doubles final is last on the agenda.