08 Nov 2018

Present in the title decider at the three most recent Grand Finals, the winners in 2015 in Lisbon and last year in Astana, whilst sandwiched in between being the runners up in Doha; Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima have secured their place in the prestigious end of year event to be staged in Incheon in December,

On Thursday 8th November, in the opening round of the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Liebherr Austrian Open in Linz, they accounted for Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Hunor Szocs (11-5, 11-2, 11-4). The win booked the ticket.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

They now occupy the no.6 position (445 points); likewise the combination of Patrick Franziska and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, who withdrew from their opening round Men’s Doubles contest when due to face Belgium’s Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet, owing to an injury to the latter, are assured of a place in Incheon. They remain in the no.7 position (414 points).

The major challengers, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan, experienced defeat at the hands of China’s Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin, the no.5 seeds (11-3, 11-5, 12-10). In terms of pairs who have met the minimum four appearance criteria as a partnership, they occupy the no.9 spot (259 points) and are thus below the cut-off line.

Rather differently, for Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, who owing to an injury sustained by Mattias Falck, conceded their opening round doubles contest when due to face the partnership of Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Spain’s Alvaro Robles, they are looking over their shoulders.

Presently, the Swedes occupy the no.8 spot on the Standings (320 points), the pair they must watch in Linz is that of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri. In the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event, they beat Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn (11-8, 11-5, 13-11).

“We really did play bad in the beginning. The Japanese played in fact as we expected but we made too many easy errors and missed some good chances. The conditions are a little bit slow, we had big problems with timing and did not find our rhythm. In set three we improved our performance but it was already too late. I hope I can find better timing for my singles match.” Daniel Habesohn

At the start of play, Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri. were well down the order (75 points), win the event they will replace the Swedes in eighth place; anything less and the Nordic duo is en route to Incheon.

Meanwhile, for the pairs assured of an invitation to Incheon before play started in Linz, it was success in the opening round.

Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds, beat India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-7, 11-8, 11-5); Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.3 seeds, ended the hopes of Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi (11-8, 12-14, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4).

Likewise, the winners last week in Stockholm, Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju, the no.6 seeds, accounted for Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi (11-9, 11-9, 11-7).

Both the quarter and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 9th November.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Austria Open Yuya Oshima Masataka Morizono

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