by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success for one player who had been required to negotiate the qualification tournament; there was success for one more and an agonising defeat for a third.
Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon maintained his outstanding run of form to beat Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.15 seed (11-8, 14-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7), by the very narrowest of margins; conversely England’s Liam Pitchford was defeated by Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.8 seed (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-9).
Most certainly, a hard fought win secured by Koki Niwa, it was exactly the same for his colleague, Jun Mizutani; the no.10 seed, eventually, he overcame Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.6 seed (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).
Wins for Liang Jingkun and Jun Mizutani contrary to seeding; in the remaining second round matches, it was as per seeding.
China’s Fan Zhendong, Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long all posted emphatic wins. Fan Zhendong, the top seed, beat French qualifier Emmanuel Lebesson (12-10, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7), Lin Gaoyuan, the no.4 seed, stifled the progress of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.12 seed (11-2, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4).
Similarly, Ma Long, the no.5 seeds, halted the adventures of colleague Wang Chuqin, who like Emmanuel Lebesson had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament. Ma Long prevailed in five games (9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8).
Victory in five games to reserve a quarter-final place against a colleague; it was the same for Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seed. He beat colleague and qualifier, Jang Woojin (11-8, 14-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7).
At the quarter-final stage Fan Zhendong meets Koki Niwa, Jun Mizutani opposes Lin Gaoyuan; in the opposite half of the draw Lim Jonghoon faces Lee Sangsu, Ma Long confronts Liang Jingkun.
The quarter-final and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 2nd June.