by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success for Vladimir Samsonov was one of two unexpected outcomes according to status in the second round of the Men’s Singles event, the other was that caused by Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu; the no.25 seed, he accounted for Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, the no.6 seed (20-18, 11-7, 5-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-5).
Otherwise, it was success for the favourites with Germany experiencing mixed fortunes; Ricardo Walther, the no.14 seed, was beaten by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8) but Benedikt Duda, the no.18 seed, overcame Sweden’s Jon Persson, the no.28 seed (11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 7-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3) and Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seed, ended the hopes of Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, the no.12 seed (12-10, 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9).
“We know each other very well, because we played against each other for years in Saarbrücken but somehow he managed to surprise me. He was passive, not as quick as I expected. However, I seized the opportunity and attacked.” Patrick Franziska
Most pertinently, Timo Boll, the top seed, prevailed against England’s Liam Pitchford, the no.10 seed (9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9).
“When I saw the draw and Liam in it I thought “this is it”; he is in very good shape here, he likes to play against me, I expected a difficult duel and so it was. “I was not happy with the way I commenced the match. I had a bad start, but I lifted my game and I rebuilt my confidence.” Timo Boll
Defeat for Liam Pitchford who had excelled on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in August, for Austria’s Daniel Habesohn who had reached the quarter-final round in both Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, there was progress; the no.13 seed, he overcame the defensive attributes of Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.31 seed (8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8).
Meanwhile, in the one remaining third round Men’s Singles contest, Kristian Karlsson, the no.8 seed, to some extent compensated for the loss experienced by colleague Jon Persson; in seven games he ended the hopes of Ukraine’s Kou Lei, the no.11 seed (11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-13, 11-8, 12-10, 11-6).
At the quarter-final stage Timo Boll meets Daniel Habesohn, Patrick Franziska opposes Benedikt Duda; in the opposite half of the draw Marcos Freitas confronts Kristian Karlsson, Ovidiu Ionescu faces Vladimir Samsonov.
The matches will be played later in the day in the evening session of play.