by Ian Marshall, Editor
Emulating Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, winner in Zagreb in both 2017 and 2018, is very much the task for Ruwen Filus in Guadalajara, proving the fact that in this day and age, the player whose style is principally based on defence, can still succeed.
However, in Muscat his style of play is his strength; amongst the leading names present, whilst players of high quality are listed, is there anyone who is dynamic against the defensive art?
On their most recent international encounters, Austria’s Robert Gardos, the no.2 seed and Belgium’s Robin Devos, the no.8 seed, both lost to Ruwen Filus at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour German Open; similarly earlier in the same year, the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik, the no.4 seed in Guadalajara, experienced defeat.
England’s Sam Walker, the no.6 seed and Frenchman Alexandre Robinot, the next on the list, have yet to face Ruwen Filus on the international scene but against defensive players they have experienced few opportunities to ply their skills.
It is very much the same for Latin American contingent heading for Guadalajara, the opportunities to test their talents against backspin players are almost zero; Brazil’s Eric Jouti is the no.3 seed, colleague Thiago Monteiro, the no.9 seed, sandwiched in between, Mexico’s Marcos Madrid is the no.5 seed.
Pertinently at the GAC Group 2015 Polish Open, Ruwen Filus beat Thiago Monteiro; more recently just under a year ago at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad, the German’s defensive skills proved too stout for Eric Jouti.
Many will tell you that being a defender in the modern era you are at a great disadvantage; in Guadalajara not so, a major advantage.