by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds, lost to the French formation of Alexandre Cassin and Emmanuel Lebesson (11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7); conversely Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon ousted the European combination of Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth the no.4 seeds (11-8, 10-12, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7).
It was a somewhat similar situation for Japan, the difference being that the win was as per expectations. Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.5 seeds, overcame the combination of Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and England’s Liam Pitchford (11-6, 11-7, 11-3). Alas for the Land of the Rising Sun, Tomokazu Harimoto and Jin Ueda experienced defeat when facing the partnership comprising Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles (7-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-5).
Disappointment for Patrick Franziska, it was the same for his colleagues, Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther; the no.8 seeds, they lost to Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju (12-10, 11-6, 12-10).
Differing fortunes for pairings from the old continent but for the 2015 European champions it was success; Austria’s Stefan Fegerl in partnership with Portugal’s João Monteiro caused the biggest upset of the round. They beat Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds and winners four days earlier on home ground in Hong Kong. Most impressively they won in three straight games (11-8, 11-9, 11-7).
Meanwhile for the Chinese pairings it was very much normal service although Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, the no.6 seeds, did experience problems when facing Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang and Ng Pak Nam; they needed the full five games to secure victory (4-11, 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5).
“There are lots of fans here, cheering for us. I feel very happy. We can learn from every single match.” Lin Gaoyuan
“We were tense but that is normal. It’s all about winning the match, tough or easy. I hope for a better performance in the coming matches. No matter in which city in China we play, there are always many fans cheering for us. I hope we can perform well at home.” Fan Zhendong
A test for Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan; in the contest between the World champions of 2011 and those of two years later, it was the former who prevailed. Ma Long and Xu Xin, the no.3 seeds, beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-9, 11-9, 11-9).
“I was not quite in a rhythm but we are more experienced.” Xu Xin
At the quarter-final stage Stefan Fegerl and João Monteiro meet Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima face Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon. In the opposite half of the draw it is Ma Long and Xu Xin in opposition to Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju; Ovidiu Ionescu and Alvaro Robles versus Alexandre Cassin and Emmanuel Lebesson.
The matches will be played later in the day.