30 Oct 2018

The first match always difficult, acclimatizing to the environment even though you have played in the premises many times before; that situation is exacerbated when the opponent is someone you have never played before and have never actually seen in the flesh.

Such was the situation that faced the host nation’s Hampus Nordberg on Monday 29th October in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event in the qualification tournament that precedes the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The 31 year old, who won the Men’s Singles event when the tournament was staged in Helsingborg in 2012, faced DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song, a player of not a too dissimilar stature.

On the ITTF World Tour, on home soil in 2016, Ham Yu Song reached the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event; more pertinently earlier this in neighbouring Korea Republic, he progressed to the Men’s Singles second round and secured the Under 21 Men’s Singles title.

In a hard fought duel, thoroughly appreciated by his supporters in the Eriksdalshallen, Hampus Nordberg emerged successful in six games, a contest in which his power counted.

“I knew he was a good player because he won the Under 21 event in Korea, I always try to watch my opponent before a match, so I watched the video of him winning in Korea. He had a strange rhythm to his backhand, it took time to adapt. He was safe but not powerful, he had good control, if I could become involved in forehand to forehand top spin rallies I always felt I had too much power for him. I think also my receive of service improved but in the sixth game I was down 8-4 and 10-6 before eventually winning.” Hampus Nordberg

Success for Hampus Nordberg and for a player from the well-known Soderham Club; some two hours north of Stockholm, he plays alongside the likes of Viktor Brodd, Jens Lundqvist and Jon Persson.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Hampus Nordberg

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