by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Vladimir Samsonov suffered at the hands Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic (11-2, 11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7), at the same time and by a very similar margin, Fang Bo was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju (11-5, 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7).
“I think I didn’t play well and he a very good game. It was very difficult because he played faster and more aggressive while I made some mistakes.” Vladimir Samsonov
A lethal backhand and once in a rhythm, Bojan Tokic is a most dangerous adversary, a fact Sweden’s one and only Jan-Ove Waldner found out at the 2004 Croatian Open; the year in which Lin Yun-Ju celebrated his third birthday.
Comparing anyone with Jan-Ove Waldner is a dangerous practice but make no mistake, Lin Yun-Ju is a very precious talent, a fact he proved last week in Hong Kong when he won the Under 21 Men’s Singles event.
“I managed to get some preparation for today’s match. To play against an elite player like Fang Bo, I had to focus on my own game and not get affected by any other things. I thought I was a little lucky to win the match today.” Lin Yun-Ju
Success for Lin Yun-Ju rather overshadowed fine performances from two aspiring young Chinese players as the second Men’s Singles qualification round began.
Wang Chuqin, destined for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, beat Japan’s Masataka Morizono (11-8, 11-5, 12-10, 10-12, 6-11, 11-9); Zhou Kai accounted for Germany’s Bastien Steger (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6).
Play in the third preliminary round will be held later in the evening.