by Simon Daish
China won’t lockout final
For the first time in 16 years the World Championships men’s singles final won’t be an all-Chinese contest after second seed Xu Xin suffered a shock round three elimination.
In a thrilling match filled with twists and turns at every corner it was Frenchman Simon Gauzy who emerged victorious over the master of penhold (11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9), leaving China without a representative in the lower section of the draw.
Tomislav Pucar is more than a “one-hit wonder”
A month back at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open Tomislav Pucar outperformed expectations to secure an unprecedented semi-finals finish – On Day Four in Budapest the Croatian was at it again.
The clear underdog in his third round meeting with no.12 seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov but that didn’t hold Pucar back as he pulled off a magnificent 4-3 win against the German star (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7).
It’s not over until it’s over
Over in the women’s singles draw Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem showed us that there’s always a way out of a difficult situation as she earned an impressive win against Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa.
Trailing 0-5 in the deciding game and staring at a Round of 16 defeat but Doo refused to give up the fight, winning 11 of the next 15 points to keep Hong Kong in the competition (11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9).
Exciting times ahead for Latin America
There’s a great deal of excitement brewing in Latin American surrounding the excellent Hugo Calderano, who has taken the world by storm over the past couple of years and the Brazilian has provided the continent with yet more cause for celebration in Budapest.
Calderano’s convincing 4-0 victory over India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-6, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9) means he equals Latin America’s personal best record of a top 16 finish on the World Championships stage, a feat that was previously achieved by Biriba and Claudio Kano in 1961 and 1971 respectively.
Petrissa Solja knows the secret to mixed doubles success
Winning mixed doubles bronze alongside Fang Bo two years back in Düsseldorf and Germany’s Petrissa Solja is assured of another World Championships medal in Budapest but this time with a different partner.
At the quarter-finals stage of play Solja and Patrick Franziska produced a fine display to knock Japan’s Mima Ito and Masataka Morizono out of the running (13-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-13, 15-13, 11-8) – at the very least a bronze medal is guaranteed but can Solja and Franziska finish even higher?