24 Aug 2019

Follow the third day of the main event in Olomouc as the Doubles Gold medals are up for grabs at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open on Saturday 24th August:

Gu and Mu: from preliminary draw to Olomouc champions!

Women’s Doubles: Finals

There was an inkling that Gu Yuting and Mu Zi could go all the way when they casually knocked out top seeds Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki early on, and indeed this promising Chinese pair pulled it off in the final, defeating another Japanese pair, Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata by a score of 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6).

Gu Yuting and Mu Zi overtook two talented Japanese pairs en route to the women’s doubles title in Olomouc. (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Victory for Cho (again) and Lee!

Men’s Doubles: Finals

Korea for the win — Cho Daeseong and Lee Sangsu prevailed over Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju to sail to a calm 3-1 victory (11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6). It’s the first men’s doubles victory at an ITTF World Tour event for 16-year-old Cho, though his second of the day after taking the doubles title with Shin Yubin. Twenty-nine-year-old Lee has already taken one doubles title this season, having won in Geelong last month alongside Jeoung Youngik.

Cho and Lee: Lunging to victory in Olomouc! (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Chen sets up China-Japan final

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

It was a very good fight from Austria’s Sofia Polcanova today (following her extraordinary fight yesterday to get into the quarterfinal) but finally Chen Xingtong proved too strong to overcome. Chen’s 4-0 win (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) sets up an all-Chinese semifinal of Chen and Feng Yalan, and an all-Japanese final between Kisumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano. Which means the women’s final will be China vs. Japan. But which Chinese player, and which Japanese?

Chen Xingtong will play compatriot Feng Yalan for a place in the women’s singles final.
Feng chips in a win

Women’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Defeats to Chinese players Liu Weishan and He Zhuojia earlier in the day put some pressure on Feng Yalan, but the 29-year-old veteran rose to the challenge admirably, crossing swords with Korea’s Jeon Jihee, a 26-year-old Olympian born in China, to come away with a 4-2 victory (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11). Feng had several opportunities to take a decisive sixth game, but Jeon tested her, pushing back and making things tough before ultimately capitulating.

“I think that my biggest advantage was power,” Feng reflected after the match. “Jeon had no weapon to deal with it as she is a more technical player. But it was not easy in the sixth game — I was losing quite a lot, but luckily I turned it around and I am looking forward to playing the semi-final tomorrow.”

Feng Yalan beat Jeon Jihee to advance to the semifinal in Olomouc.
Calderano takes down Shibaev

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Hugo Calderano is heating up: The Brazilian needed only five games to defeat Alexander Shibaev of Russia (11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-1, 11-4). The 23-year-old Carioca, flying high after taking his second consecutive Pan Am title in Lima earlier this month, got stronger as the match went on. He’ll face Ovtcharov in the semis.

Here’s the backflipping showman’s recap, including his reasons for taking a medical time out in the third game:

“So far I am playing really well here. I am enjoying playing in the Czech Republic — it is a very nice competition and I am happy to reach the semi-finals. Shibaev is a strong opponent and he is capable of winning great matches. He has very good service and receives and he is also strong in the rallies, so I had to start the game with short and then attack as soon as I could. In the third set, I took a medical time out. I think I hit the floor when I was serving so at that moment I felt some pain. I don’t usually take a medical time out, but I was in pain so I had to stop the game. After the medical time out, it was a little bit better but I was still feeling the pain. But when I focused on the game I was able to forget about it.”

Hugo Calderano is heating up.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov speaks out

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Words from the winner, who bested teammate Patrick Franzsika 4-0 to advance to the semis:

“We played against each other last year at the German Open and unfortunately I could not finish the match because I was injured. Since then Patrick has turned into a world class player — he beat the top Chinese players, so I knew this match would be a tough challenge. But I was very focused and motivated and I am happy that I was able to win in straight games. My wife and daughter are here supporting me, so it is a great feeling.”

Franziska falls to Ovtcharov in four

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

Patrick Franzsika’s fabulous run in Olomouc ended a few minutes ago as teammate Dimitrij Ovtcharov beat him 4-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-7, 12-10), earning the 30-year-old not only a place in the semifinals but an edge in the greater race of who will play men’s singles along with Timo Boll next summer in Tokyo.

All is certainly not lost for Franziska, who has been playing some of the best table tennis of his career this year. A list of his recent victims includes 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jun Mizutani, one of Franziska’s heroes, in the round of 16 here in the Czech Republic. Earlier this summer, he also toppled former World no. 1 Fan Zhendong at the ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open in Geelong. He also got to the quarterfinals in Doha via wins against both Simon Gauzy of France and Koki Niwa of Japan. So all in all, very good work for the 27-year-old.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov survived the challenge fo Patrick Franziska to advance in Olomouc. (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Game on for Ovtcharov and Franziska

Men’s Singles: Quarter-finals

More than just pride is at stake as Dimitrij Ovtcharov settles 2-0 into his match with Patrick Franziska (that’s where they’re at so far, anyway.) The two are also racing to join Timo Boll in singles play at next summer’s Olympic Games, where all three have already qualified in the team competition. The winner of this matchup will have the edge — and so far, it’s Ovtcharov.

Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin crowned champions

Mixed Doubles: Final

If Mizutani and Ito were praised for the recovery effort in game four then the same treatment should go for Cho and Shin in game five: down a game, match and championship point but the Korean qualifiers held their nerve, winning the next three points in a row to seal the title (6-11, 15-13, 12-10, 16-18, 12-10). What a match!

“We are very happy because we won our first World Tour title together,” they said afterward. “The final was very difficult. Mizutani and Ito are very strong opponents. But in the end, we played really well — we saved match point, and we won.”

Title joy for Korean pair (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Japanese pair refuse to give in

Mixed Doubles: Final

Well, well, well. Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito refuse to give up the fight, saving a total of six match point opportunities to take game four 18-16, forcing the match into a decider. The Korean duo of Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin may have their work cut out for them today.

Crowd giving Ishikawa “more energy”

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Happy with her performance, Kasumi Ishikawa thanks the crowd for their support:

“I feel more confident than last week at Bulgaria Open where I lost against her. This time I played much better and I am happy that I won. I also felt support from the crowd which gave me more energy. I hope that I will able to perform well in the semi-final.” Kasumi Ishikawa

And she’s done it!

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Miu Hirano has completed the comeback win! Trailing 0-3 at one stage in the match but the “Hurricane” survives, winning four consecutive games to steal a 4-3 victory over unseeded Chinese counterpart Liu Weishan (8-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4).

Down to the wire!

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Unbelievable stuff in Olomouc as Hirano wins a third game in a row to level the scores at 3-3. Who will leave the court victorious?

Can Miu Hirano recover? (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Up against the ropes but still in it

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

In serious trouble at 0-3 down but Miu Hirano pulls one back against Liu Weishan to keep herself in the contest. Now it’s 1-3 but can Hirano mount a comeback?

Long wait for revenge ends

Women’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

A long-awaited win against He Zhuojia has finally arrived for Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa with her five-year wait drawing to a close.

Suffering defeat in her previous three meetings with the young Chinese player, including a quarter-finals loss at the 2018 World Tour Grand Finals, but top seed Ishikawa was on another level today needing just five games to seal her spot in the women’s singles semi-finals (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9).

Timo Boll reacts

Following a tough match with Lee Sangsu, Timo Boll is relieved to make it through to the last four but is weary of the challenge that lies ahead of him:

“I think that I showed a great performance and fighting spirit today. But not only me Lee also played today at a really high level. For me, it was hard to change my tactics after being 1-3 down. I tried to survive, tried to win easy points and somehow I stayed in the game. He played very strong from both sides so mentally it was hard to keep the concentration high. I tried to place the ball cleverly and to disturb his rhythm. Somehow I managed it but in the meantime I was really struggling and I thought “oh my goodness he is just too good today!”. The semi-final will be really tough again. I will face Lin Yun-Ju, who is the upcoming star of our sport. Two years ago I was able to beat him but since that he made a big step forward. This time it will be another player standing against me.” Timo Boll

Fighting spirit sends Timo through (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
Match points saved, Timo extends stay

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

German legend Timo Boll will contest the men’s singles semi-finals following a narrow 4-3 win against Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu.

Down 1-3 on the scoreboard but Boll pulled one back in game five before saving two match points in game six, rescuing the situation from 8-10 behind to win 12-10. Successfully forcing a deciding game Boll then held match point opportunities of his own after gaining a 10-7 lead. Lee managed to salvage one point but couldn’t bridge the gap any further as Boll survived a severe test (6-11, 9-11, 15-13, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8).

Lin Yun-Ju outclasses Japanese qualifier

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Another fine display, Lin Yun-Ju looks to be an unstoppable force in Olomouc after the Chinese Taipei star successfully booked his spot in the men’s singles semi-finals in no time at all.

In a match that lasted just over 27 minutes in total Lin produced a performance well beyond his years, showing great composure to bring Yuki Hirano’s wonderful run to an end with a powerful 4-0 victory over the Japanese qualifier (11-1, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7).

No issues for Lin Yun-Ju in day three opener (Photo: Lukas Kabon)
And the action continues!

Follow the action live by keeping up to date on the match schedule for the day:

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

Match Highlights