by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Notably in Halmstad, in the group stage of proceedings, Jon Persson lost just one match; in the opening contest against Hong Kong he was beaten by Wong Chun Ting (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5).
“I played him one time in ETTU Cup semi-finals with my club. I actually beat him three-one but then at the World Championships I lost three-one. So it was a revenge for me today. I think today I was good in my defence. I blocked well and when he attacked I was a little bit calmer than at the World Championships. I always try to play a little bit hard, today I focused on keeping the ball on the table; that was the key. My serves were much better today than at the World Championships. He had more problems today with my serves than at the World Championships; this was also one key point for me. I know that he is a really good player, so I needed to impose my game even if I was down two-nil. I won three very close games; it made the difference.” Jon Persson
A surprise win for Jon Persson, he was not alone in the second round of the Men’s Singles event; in fact all four matches in the top half of the draw provided upsets.
Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura, the no.9 seed, beat Egypt’s Omar Assar, the no.6 seed (11-3, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7); Cho Seungmin accounted for fellow Korean qualifier, Jang Woojin (13-11, 11-9, 14-12, 9-11, 11-9). Contests between colleagues are often unpredictable but on the current Men’s World Rankings, Jang Woojin is the higher ranked; he is listed at no.54, Jang Woojin at no.40. The result could well be regarded as surprise.
Impressive from Cho Seungmin; it was equally impressive from another qualifier in the top half of the draw. Zhou Qihao, the one Chinese player still standing, accounted for Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.11 seed (12-10, 13-15, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).
He now meets Jon Persson in the penultimate round, Maharu Yoshimura opposes Cho Seungmin.
“I haven’t played as a national team member of China team for a while so I was a bit nervous. Next round I will be playing against Jon Persson. I haven’t played against him before. Tonight I will be having a video review and study his style of playing.” Zhou Qihao
The quarter-final and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 26th May.