Tournaments

22 Aug 2019

Follow the first day of the main event in Olomouc as the battle for the 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open begins on Thursday 22nd August:

Wong Chun Ting is out!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

What a way to round off the day! Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting is officially out of the running for men’s singles glory in Olomouc after the no.11 penhold star was bested by China’s Ma Te in five games (11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10).

In the other 8.30pm session match between India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Japan’s Taimu Arinobu it was the former of the two who held the upper hand (11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6).

Two Brazilians but only one winner

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Before a ball was hit in round one Brazil was destined to experience mixed emotions as one of its players was guaranteed to progress while another was certain to fall with teammates Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi meeting in a head-to-head duel. The match very much according to form with second seed Calderano needing just five games to see of Tsuboi (11-5, 12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6).

Gustavo Tsuboi halted by Brazilian colleague (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

Over on table 1 there was a shock round one elimination for eighth seed Liam Pitchford with the Englishman losing out to Russia’s Alexander Shibaev 4-2 (11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-3, 11-8).

Encouraging start for Vladi

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Suffering an opening round exit one week ago in Panagyurishte but there was no repeat outcome for Vladimir Samsonov in his round one affair in Olomouc, beating defensive specialist Ruwen Filus 4-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5).

Meanwhile, German no.4 seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov pulled off an opening round victory at the expense of China’s Xue Fei (11-5, 13-11, 9-11, 3-11, 13-11, 11-5).

Samsonov vs Filus

Who are you backing in the contest between Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov and Germany’s Ruwen Filus?

Incredible comeback sees Austrian star make progress

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Up against the ropes at a 0-3 deficit but Austria’s Sofia Polcanova embraced the challenge ahead of her with open arms. The no.10 seed showed great fighting spirit to win the next four games in a row to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in her opening round meeting with Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu (7-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10, 11-8).

Sofia Polcanova stays cool in the face of pressure (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

There was another impressive recover display over on table 4 as Japan’s Saki Shibata, seeded seventh, responded from 1-3 down to beat Singapore’s Yu Mengyu 4-3 (8-11, 13-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7).

Feng Yalan takes down no.14 seed

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Germany’s Petrissa Solja will play no further part in the women’s singles event in Olomouc after the no.14 seeded player lost out to Chinese qualifier Feng Yalan by a convincing 4-1 score-line (11-5, 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6).

Success for Feng Yalan but for fellow compatriot Li Jiayi it was the opposite story as she fell to Japanese no.8 seed Hitomi Sato across six games (11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7).

Gauzy gets through

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

It was touch and go at times, but France’s Simon Gauzy prevailed 4-2 over Masataka Morizono of Japan (8-11, 11-9, 14-12, 5-11, 8-11, 11-7, 14-12). No European has won a men’s singles title on the ITTF World Tour this year, and Gauzy, a 2016 Olympian, certainly has an interest in becoming the first. With Harimoto out, the competition is suddenly anyone’s game…

Will there be glory for Gauzy in Olomouc? (Photo: Remy Gros)
Welcome back, Timo Boll!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

It’s been a successful return so far for German superstar Timo Boll, who just celebrated his return by beating China’s Xia Yizheng 4-2 (11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8). Boll, who has a busy club schedule, has been absent from the ITTF World Tour for the past two months but the 38-year-old is making a statement before October’s German Open and racking up appearances with his eyes on this year’s Grand Finals. Certainly, a title in Olomouc wouldn’t be too shabby either…

Welcome back, Timo Boll. (Photo: Rémy Gros)

 

Pletea: ‘That is for sure the biggest win of my career’

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

The word from Romania’s Cristian Pletea, who just eliminated top seed Tomokazu Harimoto in a seven-game shocker:

“That is for sure the biggest win of my career. We have been playing against each other since we were juniors, which helped me today. I know his style and I felt he was a little bit nervous today. Also, I played really well today, my tactics were perfect. I was down 0-2 and 3-6 but I managed to win the game. Then I was 1-3 down but I was still fighting. I knew that it was not over. I started well in the fifth game then I also won the sixth. And in the seventh game, you never know what happens. I also felt big support from the spectators and I would like to thank them. I hope that tomorrow I will play well again.” – Cristian Pletea

Critsian Pletea played the match of his life in Olomouc today. (Photo: Kate Ostapenko)
Freitas charges forward

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, runner up to Zheng Peifeng at this event last year, easily cleared the first hurdle back to the final in Olomouc, in the form of Japan’s Koki Niwa, with his 4-1 win (7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 15-13).

“I played against Koki Niwa last week at the Bulgarian Open and it is not easy to play against the same player twice. The opponent can adjust to my game and the second match is always harder. The result looks the same but today it was much harder. I had a bad start I lost the first set because he changed some things so I had to adjust. But I was able to win again so I am very happy… Since the European Games I feel in good shape, I’ve had no injuries, I played many tournaments and in Bulgaria I reached the semi-finals so let’s see what will happen tomorrow.” Marcos Freitas

So did Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, who will be Freitas’s next opponent. Lin defeated countryman Chen Chien-An, though his margin of victory was not what he might have liked (11-8, 5-11, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Marcos Freitas has been on a roll. (Photo: Jan Brychta)
SHOCKER: Harimoto ejected by Pletea!

Men’s Singles: Round of 32

Delight in Romania, disbelief for Japan: Tomokazu Harimoto, the 2017 Czech Open champion, will not get a second shot at the title this year. The 16-year-old rising star sustained a surprising loss against Romania’s Cristian Pletea, a 2018 Youth Olympian, who has been posting very positive results lately, though none will go down as more positive than this.

Things began well for Harimoto, who held an easy 2-0 lead at the beginning, but Pletea refused to let up and caught him in the second half, eking out a 4-3 victory (3-11, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7).

Home delight as Hana Matelova progresses

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Czech hope Hana Matelova scored a big victory for the host country in defeating Korea’s Kim Hayeong, a former Chinese junior national team member once known as Li Yiran. Matelova, the no. 16 seed, was in charge all the way through the 4-2 match (11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 4-11, 12-10).

Hana Matelova at work.
Japan according to plan

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

As expected, the Japan vs. Japan match ups have left the seeded players standing. No. 3 Miu Hirano had an easy half-hour session against Ayami Narumoto that resulted in a 4-0 victory (11-9, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7), while no. 13 Honoka Hashimoto defeated Miyuu Kihara 4-3 despite a slow start in a more protracted contest (3-11, 16-14, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5). No. 12 Miyu Kato is out, however, falling 1-4 to China’s Liu Weishan.

Miu Hirano of Japan.
Ishikawa survives Taipei challenge

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

That was something of a nail-biter for Kasumi Ishikawa: the defending women’s champion in Olomouc was nearly upset by the unseeded Cheng Hsein-Tzu of Chinese Taipei, who led 3-2 before Ishikawa pulled away during the final two games, allowing Chen just three points as she surged to a 4-3 victory to stay alive in the first round of the main draw (11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-1, 11-2). The top seed in this tournament and one of the big hopes to become Japan’s first women’s singles winner on the ITTF World Tour this year, Ishikawa has lived to fight another day.

Concentrate: Kasumi Ishikawa is the defending champion in Olomouc. (Photo: Jan Brychta)
Liu goes through, He stops Gu

Women’s Singles: Round of 32

Having fought her way through the preliminary rounds to the main draw, China’s Liu Xi sailed smoothly through her match with new Pan American Games champion Adriana Diaz, defeating the Puerto Rican 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9). Faced with He Zhuojia, top Chinese women’s seed in Olomouc, Gu Yuting had a harder time of it: down 0-3, the 24-year-old (and 2010 Youth Olympic champion) took two games off He before capitulating. He won 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8.

He Zhuojia eventually found her stride against Gu Yuting. (Photo by Hussein Sayed)
Indian pair fall at first hurdle

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

Belgians Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet were in top form as they saw off Indian hopefuls Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar in straight games (11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

The match lasted exactly 19 minutes, where Allegro and Lambiet left the Indians no space to work with. Frenchmen Tristian Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson also showed no mercy against host nation’s Tomas Polansky and Pavel Sirucek, winning 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-8).

Lambiet and Allgero were in tip-top shape. (Photo by Robert Valai)
Asian powerhouses roll on

Men’s Doubles: Round of 16

China’s Zhao Zihao and Zhu Linfeng needed five games to secure victory over their opponents from Chinese Taipei Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan, as they marched into the quarter-finals in Olomouc, mounting a magnificent comeback (11-13, 5-11, 11-5, 15-13, 11-9).

Following suit were Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Cho Daeseong, who had a slightly easier time defeating Denmark’s Anders Lind and Tobias Rasmussen 3-1 (11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).

Home crowd rises for Matelova and Balazova

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

The Czech Republic/Slovakia pairing of Hana Matelova and Barbora Balazova gave the fans something to cheer about as they glided past their Croatian opponents Mateja Jeger and Sun Jiayi in a 3-0 victory (11-7, 11-5, 11-8).

On Table 2, the Diaz sisters from Puerto Rico could not stop the Korean duo of Kim Hayeong and Lee Eunhye. Adriana and Melanie Diaz won the first game, but had no response once the comeback started to unfold for Lee and Kim (9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3).

The Diaz sisters could not make their pairing count. (Credit: Lima 2019)
Russians stumble, while the French march on

Women’s Doubles: Round of 16

Yana Noskova and Olga Vorobera had simply too much to deal with when they faced Singaporeans Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu, who defeated the Russian pair in straight games (12-10, 11-7, 11-6).

The match lasted no more than 8 minutes as Lin & Yu seemed to be in a rush. In a surprise turn of events, France’s Stephanie Loeuillette and Audrey Zarif beat Chinese duo Qian Tianyi and Chen Xingtong. It took four fierce games to settle, but the European pair did just enough to move on to the quarter-finals (13-15, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).

Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu in action.
Dang & Nina battle through

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

German duo Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham had to dig deep in their first match of the tournament here in Olomouc, as they won against Slovakian pair Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 4-11, 15-13).

Lasting nearly 35 minutes, the match between the Europeans was fought till the end, with the final game lasting 28 points. Meanwhile, a Japanese domestic ended with Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito seeing off Tomokazu Harimoto and Kasumi Ishikawa in straight games (11-5, 11-8, 11-7).

“It is a huge win for us. We played against Pistej and Balazova at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest and we lost quite close 2-4. So today we knew that they are a really good pair but we also knew how they play. Pistej has a very unique style he is very dangerous in doubles. But we just played better today and we put more balls on the table. There was nothing special. But still, we saved one match point so it was very close.” – Qiu Dang and Nina Mittelham

Mixed start for Koreans

Mixed Doubles: Round of 16

Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin had a difficult but winning start to the day, as they needed all five games to beat French pair Tristian Flore and Laura Gasnier (11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5).

It was an intensive battle from the start, with either pairing winning alternative games. This pattern fell into place for the Koreans, as they managed to close the decider. Sadly, their compatriots Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee could not do the same, as the top seeds lost out to an impressive showing by China’s Ma Te and Wu Yang (6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 13-11).

“We are very happy that we won because it was very hard and long match. We played against Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee last week in Bulgaria so today they had a better idea about our play. But we also prepared well. In the first set they were faster than us so we could not attack so much. But then we attacked more and we won next two sets. Then we became more relaxed. We don’t pracitise a lot together so last week was a good preparation for us. Now we will try to win as many matches as possible.” – Ma Te & Wu Yang

And here we go!

Stay updated with the scores for the whole event right as follows:

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

Match Highlights