01 Nov 2018

Injury to China’s Ma Long has forced the reigning Olympic and World champion out of the current Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, the now 30 year old withdrew from proceedings on the morning of Thursday 1st November. Farewell to Stockholm but he hopes to be fit to compete in next week's Seamaster 2018 Austrian Open.

Such was the buzz around the Eriksdalshallen on the morning of the opening day of play, as partnering colleague Xu Xin, the no.2 seeds conceded their first round Men’s Doubles contest when due to face England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A buzz, soon after the withdrawal was announced there was an even bigger buzz around the hall, against the odds, the host nation’s Anton Källberg and Truls Moregard beat China’s Fan Zhendong and Liang Jingkun, the no.3 seeds (4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8).

“It was an amazing match. I think both of us played very well and creatively. We felt very comfortable with our game. In the last game, we were just playing and trying to keep going.” Truls Moregard

Defeat for the third seeds, they were not alone. Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther, the no.6 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun and Cho Seungmin (12-10, 11-6, 11-1); Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chiang Chih-Yuan, the no.7 seeds and 2013 World champions, lost to the partnership formed by DPR Korea’s Ham Yu Song and the Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin (11-6, 11-5, 11-8).

Meanwhile, in the remaining contests, it was progress as status advised. Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, the no.5 seeds, added to Swedish success; they beat Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan (11-4, 11-8, 11-7).

Somewhat similarly, Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.4 seeds, balanced the books for Chinese Taipei; they accounted for Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon (11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8). In addition, Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds, accounted for the pairing of DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and the Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon (12-14, 14-12, 11-7, 11-4).

Overall, a productive round for Sweden but there was one disappointment. Illness to Pär Gerell, when due to partner Jon Persson against Japan’s Tomokzu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukura, the no.8 seeds, forced the Swedes to withdraw.

The quarter-finals of the Men’s Doubles event will be staged on the morning of Friday 2nd November.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open ma long Truls Moregard Anton Källberg

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