17 Aug 2018

A pen-holder and defender not the favoured styles of play in the modern era but they were the styles that caused the major upsets in the second round of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte on Friday 17th August.

China’s Zheng Peifeng and Ma Te grabbed the headlines.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Zheng Peifeng, the pen-holder took pride of place.

He beat Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed, emerging successful in six games (11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6); one hour later for the star man of the previous day it was also defeat. England’s Liam Pitchford, who had beaten Ma Long in the opening round, found the backspin play of Ma Te safe and secure; national pride was to some extent restored as a five games win was posted (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7).

Fine performances, they overshadowed two other notable efforts that resulted in the pecking order being upset. Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.10 seed in the battle of the ageless beat his five years younger adversary, Chinese Taipei’s 37 year old Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.6 seed in five games (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 15-13, 11-7).

Similarly, Austria’s Daniel Habesohn excelled; he beat fellow qualifier, Japan’s Masataka Morizono , likewise in six games (12-14, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-1). Presently on the Men’s World Rankings, Daniel Habesohn is listed at no.53, Masataka Morizono appears at no.41.

Defeat for Masataka Morizono but there was success for Japan. Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.4 seed, accounted for Frenchman, Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.13 seed (11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 12-14, 11-5), Kenta Matsudaira, the no.7 seed, beat Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, the no.14 seed (13-15, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10). Likewise, Koki Niwa, the no.5 seed, ended the hopes of Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.9 seed (6-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).

Furthermore, there was very nearly a fourth Japanese win; Yuya Oshima came perilously close against China’s Xu Xin. He extended the no.2 seed, the full five match distance (11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5).

At the quarter-final stage Zheng Peifeng meets Kenta Matsudaira, Vladimir Samsonov faces Tomokazu Harimoto; in the opposite half of the draw Ma Te confronts Daniel Habesohn, Koki Niwa plays Xu Xin.

The quarter and semi-final matches in the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 18th August.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Bulgaria Open Dimitrij Ovtcharov Liam Pitchford Zheng Peifeng Ma Te

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Day 4 - 2018 Seamaster ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open

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