26 Jul 2018

The win recorded by Yu Ziyang over Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov was the pick of the crop, as play commenced in the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open on Thursday 26th July but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In the eight contests that ignited proceedings, only two seeds survived; it was carnage in Geelong.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon emerged the two survivors; Quadri Aruna, the no.11 seed, recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Germany’s Ricardo Walther (6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10). In an equally hard fought contest and in a similar vein Lim Jonghoon, the no.12 seed, fought back to overcome Spain’s Alvaro Robles (4-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6).

Otherwise it was farewell as Liu Dingshuo and Zhou Yu emulated the efforts of their compatriot. Following the example set by Yu Ziyang in beating Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed (11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 15-17, 6-11, 11-3); Liu Dingshuo and Zhou Yu both ended the hopes of celebrated Japanese opponents.

Zhou Yu accounted for Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9); Liu Dingshuo ousted Jun Mizutani, the no.8 seed and the winner two years ago when the tournament was staged in Melbourne. Similarly to Yu Ziyang, Liu Dingshuo had to withstand a spirited recovery, before emerging successful by the very narrowest of decisions (11-4, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9).

Defeats against the odds for Japan but there was the reverse scenario. Maharu Yoshimura beat Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.10 seed (11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9); Yuya Oshima overcame Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7).

“Calderano is higher ranked than me so I tried to play my own game. There was one only one thing to do and that’s to keep the ball in play, break the opponent down and attack him. It was in my mind from the beginning to the end of the match; his backhand is really good and if he attacks me with his backhand, I tended to go back from the table, so I tried to stay close to the table and counter attack. Like everyone else in this tournament, my goal is to try to win the tournament!” Yuya Oshima

The end of the road for one previous champion, for another, the winner in Tweed Heads in 2015, it was success. In the all Korea Republic contest, Jeoung Youngsik upset the odds. He beat Lee Sangsu, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-3, 11-8, 11-8).

“Sangsu and I have played so many times since primary school, our matches are always tight. I barely remember this kind of one sided game before. Maybe it’s his service, it was not powerful as usual. I was very lucky at end of the first game. I was 8-10 down. If I lost the first one, the overall result could have been very different, it was the crucial game. Last week Jang Woojin was incredibly successful. I am so proud of him and thank him for promoting table tennis in my country. I would like to achieve same the level of success this week.” Jeoung Sangeun

Play in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event concludes on Friday 27th July.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Australia Open Zhou Yu Liu Dingshuo

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF Australian Open

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