by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications
The no.9 seed, in the second round of the Men’s Singles event he beat Simon Gauzy, the no.7 seed, emerging successful in six games (11-4, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6).
“Simon is higher ranked than me and his performance is always at a high level. I have not played well this year. Mentally it is hard for me as I have a lack of confidence. Today I tried to concentrate on every ball. There were some good rallies which gave me confidence and I had a clear head which helped me a lot. I am glad that I have started to win again.” Chuang Chih-Yuan
Success for Chuang Chih-Yuan in what was a reversal of fortunes on the ITTF World Tour in Japan; in 2016, having beaten Simon Gauzy in Budapest, in Tokyo, he experienced defeat.
An upset according to ranking, in the remaining three second round matches completed on the evening of the first day of play, it was success as per status. There were wins for Germany’s Timo Boll alongside the Japanese duo of Kenta Matsudaira and Jin Ueda.
Timo Boll, the top seed, repeated the success he had enjoyed at the recent Liebherr World Team Championships in Halmstad by beating Sweden’s Mattias Karlsson, the no.12 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5); likewise it was a repeat performance from Kenta Matsudaira.
On the ITTF World Tour in 2016, Kenta Matsudaira had beaten Benedikt Duda, like Timo Boll from Germany, in both Austria and Sweden. In Kitakyushu, he repeated the performance; the no.8 seed, he emerged successful in five games (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6).
The end of the road for Benedikt Duda who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament; it was the same for Kazuhiro Yoshimura; he was beaten by Jin Ueda, the no.13 seed (8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6).
Play in remaining second round Men’s Singles matches plus the quarter-finals will be played on Saturday 9th June.