by Ian Marshall, Editor
Enzo Angles was beaten by Brazil’s Eric Jouti (11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3, 11-9), the 24 year old from São Paulo having a distinct liking for Frenchmen; the previous day he had accounted for Antoine Hachard (11-9, 2-11, 11-7, 6-11, 15-13, 11-5). Meanwhile, Enzo Angles had recovered from the depths of despair to overcome Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia (8-11, 2-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9).
Most certainly Eric Jouti was well aware of the previous day’s escapology and was determined to bolt the door.
“It was important I focused on myself and not on him, it was important I played clever, make him move on the first two strokes; his forehand is strong, especially when he steps around and plays from the backhand. Winning yesterday helped, it boosted my confidence; I know it was four-two, a hard match but the score does not matter, the fact I won is all that counts.” Eric Jouti
Any recovery thwarted, it was the opposite for Masataka Morizono, who not only deserved great credit for his spirited behavior also for the level of his sportsman.
He was down three games to two; in the sixth he trailed 2-6 and 3-7, a home win and an ovation for his adversary beckoned. He recovered. He levelled at 10-all, then held game point. In his trademark style Elias Ranefur bent the knees to 90 degrees to effect his backhand service, it clipped the end of the table by the very faintest of edges, so faint the umpire awarded the point to the Swede.
It is easy be make a sporting gesture when the score is 9-0 either way, it takes a player of character to make that gesture at a crucial stage of the contest; to his eternal credit, Masataka Morizono, after picking the ball up from near the court surrounds, returned to the table and with his right handed pointed to the table to show the ball had touched.
“I just reacted an instinctively; when I was losing, I didn’t change anything, I just kept playing; maybe when I was down I relaxed. It was really tough; I had real problems returning his services.” Masataka Morizono
Great credit to Masataka Morizono for his behaviour also to Elias Ranefur, he was desperately disappointed at surrendering a golden opportunity but he smiled, perhaps in resignation and shook hands correctly with adversary.
Just as with Eric Jouti and Enzo Angles, both Masataka Morizono and Elias Ranefur were a credit to our sport; good to see.