02 Nov 2018

The top two names, the favourites for gold, China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin both emerged successful in their second round Men’s Singles encounters at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF Swedish Open in Stockholm on the afternoon of Friday 2nd November.

Xu Xin, the defending champion, overcame Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.9 seed (11-7, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6); Fan Zhendong, the runner up one year ago, accounted for colleague and qualifier, Zhou Yu (11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Fan Zhendong, competing in the top half of the draw, established his authority on proceedings from the very start, underlining the fact that in top to topspin exchanges he is the master of the art.

“It was not as easy as the score line may suggest. The main reason why I won was that I was well prepared. We usually play together in the same team so we know each other really well.” Fan Zhendong

“I lost the match because of a lack of confidence; I was not in my best form. I had lost the match from the very start.” Zhou Yu

Success against Zhou Yu, one round earlier he had accounted for Liu Dingshuo; theoretically there is the possibility that Fan Zhendong could progress to the final and, in fact win the event, confronting only Chinese players!

Next on the list at the quarter-final stage is Liang Jingkun who, in the second round overcame the host nation’s Jens Lundqvist (11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4), a contest between two players who had been required to compete in the preliminary rounds. Notably Lin Gaoyuan is in the same half of the draw.

Fan Zhendong in control, for Xu Xin life was more testing against Jun Mizutani.

“It was not easy to win but I am gaining in confidence. I made some mistakes returning service. I needed to calm down and play in a more relaxed manner. I am maybe not as fast as I used to be but now I have experience.” Xu Xin

In the quarter-finals, in the lower half of the draw Xu Xin meets Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin; he booked his last place courtesy of a second round win against colleague Lim Jonghoon (11-8, 6-11, 12-114, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10).

The quarter and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 3rd November.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Swedish Open Fan Zhendong xu xin

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