07 Nov 2018

The full player roster for the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open has finally been decided after two days of intense qualification action in Linz.

Here are some of the highlight moments from qualifying:

by Simon Daish

Shock exits and standout performances

The race for the Men’s Singles draw consisted of four preliminary rounds across the two days of qualifying and the surprises arrived thick and fast with major names exiting right from the opening rounds.

Impressive at last week’s ITTF World Tour event in Stockholm but Sweden’s Mattias Falck was left disappointed in Linz after experiencing a seven games defeat to Slovenia’s Deni Kozul (11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5) and there was a standout performance from Germany’s Qiu Dang, who accounted for Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia with a superb comeback (6-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Frenchman Simon Gauzy won’t be making an appearance in the main draw following a surprise defeat to Korea Republic’s Hwang Minha (12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7), however, fellow Korean player Jeoung Youngsik didn’t fare so well as he exited to Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov by the narrowest of margins.

Hoping to represent the host nation in the main draw but Stefan Fegerl’s dreams were crushed by Germany’s Ricardo Walther in the final round of qualifying (11-8 11-9, 12-10, 12-10), Belarusian legend Vladimir Samsonov lost out to Zhou Qihao and Indian star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran earned a terrific 4-2 win over Jeong Sangeun to qualify.

Full distance drama

Qualification for the Women’s Singles tournament featured three preliminary rounds to negotiate and in similar fashion to the Men’s Singles race, there were plenty of fascinating stories.

Trailing by a 1-3 deficit Petrissa Solja fought back to beat Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching 4-3 in the final round of qualification (7-11, 14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5) and there was also a strong shift from Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska, who sent Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian out of the tournament (11-5, 9-11, 13-11, 3-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-8).

Kim Song I of DPR Korea recovered from an early scare against Kristin Lang (6-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11, 11-6) before going on to seal her spot in the main draw with victory over Japan’s Miyuu Kihara later in the day (3-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11). Defeat for Kihara at the final hurdle but there was success for four of her Japanese colleagues with Hina Hayata, Miyu Nagasaki, Honoka Hashimoto and Minami Ando all progressing.

The list of big name eliminations in Linz includes Hong Kong’s Soo Wai Yam Minnie, Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Li Jie of the Netherlands.

Romanian partnerships excel

Alongside the race for the singles events there was also qualification action in the three doubles competitions with partnerships representing Romania enjoying plenty of success.

Cristian Pletea and Hunor Szocs edged a close contest against DPR Korea’s An Ji Song and Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon in the Men’s Doubles preliminary round (11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 11-9) while another Romanian involved in action, Ovidiu Ionescu partnered Spain’s Alvaro Robles to an incredible comeback win against Germany’s Ruwen Filus and Ricardo Walther (5-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9).

Quarter-finalists in Stockholm but the Korean Peninsula pair of Kim Song I and Suh Hyowon have failed to qualify for the Women’s Doubles draw after losing out to Elizabeta Samara and Bernadette Szocs (11-6, 11-8, 11-5) and there was further good news for Romania as Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs combined well in the Mixed Doubles, defeating the Italian duo of Niagol Stoyanov and Giorgia Piccolin 3-2 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9).

More Information

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Austria Open Mattias Falck Simon Gauzy Petrissa Solja Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Kim Song I Margaryta Pesotska

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Photo Gallery

Qualification Day 1 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open