19 Mar 2019

Listed at no.15 on the current world rankings, Mattias Falck is Sweden’s highest rated player; at the forthcoming 2019 ITTF Challenge Oman Plus Open, he is the men’s singles top seed.

He starts the favourite for gold at the five day tournament which commences with two days of qualification in the country’s capital city of Muscat on Wednesday 20th March; the favourite but he needs to find form.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Just over four months ago at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, the 27 year old was on fire; since then the fire has been damped, the cinders are hardly glowing.

In November, on home soil in Stockholm’s Eriksdalshallen; he progressed the semi-final stage. Impressively he beat colleague Anton Källberg, before causing a major upset by ousting China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.3 seed. A quarter-final place booked, he accounted for close friend and doubles partner, Kristian Karlsson, before China’s Fan Zhendong, the champion elect, ended adventures.

However, since that date, rather than being the cause of upsets, he has been on the receiving end.

The following week at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open in Linz, he was beaten in the men’s singles second preliminary round, his opening match, by Slovenia’s Dani Kozul.

A short break, the festive season but as the New Year dawned, life was little better. The no.6 seed at the Seamaster 2019 Hungarian Open in Budapest in January, he was beaten in the opening round of the men’s singles event by Chinese teenager Wang Chuqin. One month later, at the CCB 2019 Europe Top 16 Cup in Montreux, the no.2 seed, it was also a first round exit. He suffered against the defensive skills of Panagiotis Gionis of Greece.

Disappointment and there was more, later in February; in the elite men’s singles event at the Safir International in Orebro, he experienced a semi-final defeat when facing colleague Truls Moregard.

In Örebro he was the favourite for gold; just the same as he is in Muscat, not the best of omens!

Challenge Series 2019 Oman Open Mattias Falck

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Day 3 - Seamaster 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus, Oman Open