Tournaments

31 Oct 2018

Places in the main draw of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open at stake, tension filled the Eriksdalshallen on the evening of Wednesday 31st October.

In pressure packed contests, China’s Liang Jingkun and Liu Dingshuo, alongside Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon and Germany’s Benedikt Duda emerged successful in seven games duels, clashes that kept those appreciating the fare in offer in the edges of their seats.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Liang Jingkun was the player to perform the recovery, Lim Jonghoon the player to withstand a recovery.

Eventually Liang Jingkun beat Park Gangyeon, like Lim Jonghoon from the Korea Republic and four days ago the winner at the ITTF Challenge Belgium Open (9-11, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5). Balancing the books for the nation, Lim Jonghoon resisted the efforts of Frenchman, Emmanuel Lebesson to emerge successful (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 11-13, 8-11, 11-8).

Meanwhile, Liu Dingshuo performed somewhat of an escape against Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic, he recovered from a three games to two deficit, won the sixth by the very narrowest of margins, before in the seventh game trailing throughout until gaining parity at 9-all. The technique safe and assured, prepared to play long points, he won the next two points to secure victory and break Slovenian hearts.

Somewhat similarly, Benedikt Duda had to instigate a fightback; he lost the first two games against Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck before recovering to force a decider. At 5-all in the seventh game it was parity, Benedikt Duda secured the next four points swaying the momentum in his favour; he never looked back. He surrendered just one more point (2-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6).

“At the start of the match I had great problems returning his services, the half-long serve, it was hard to judge. After I lost the first two games I decided just to make sure I put the return of service on the table, not try to be too aggressive returning service; as the match progressed I was able to block better and my backhand caused him problems, especially when he tried to move around his backhand to play a forehand.” Benedikt Duda

Close calls, as the concluding preliminary round of the Men’s Doubles event came to a close, the same scenario applied.

England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford needed the full five games to beat Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi (11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7), as did Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan in opposition to Italy’s Mihai Bobocica and Niagol Stoyanov (6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 12-10).

Likewise, there were testing times for the highly rated pairing of DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song and Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin. They were extended the full distance by Frenchmen Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson (13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8).

A hard fought success for Ham Yu Song and Jang Woojin; for the latter’s colleagues, An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin, the top rated pair on final preliminary round Men’s Doubles duty, life was less tense. They accounted for the combination of England’s Tom Jarvis and Kanak Jha of the United States on three straight games (11-8, 13-11, 11-3).

Play in the main draw commences on Thursday 1st November.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Liang Jingkun Liu Dingshuo Benedikt Duda
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