02 Oct 2019

Shocks abounded on the opening day of qualification for places in the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish; notable names departed; now on decision day, Wednesday 2nd October, in the Eriksadalshallen, can we expect the same?

Play commences at 9.30am local time.

Paul Drinkhall brings day to a conclusion

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

Following success for Japan’s Masataka Morizono in opposition to Croatia’s Frane Kojic (6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 17-15, 12-10, 11-8), England’s Paul Drinkhall brought the day to an end. He beat Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre (11-5, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-2); notably in the sixth game winning the first nine points..

“Marcelo has no weaknesses, he has a good all round game and he sticks to his game. It was like earlier today against Darko Jorgic, I had to stick to my game. In the sixth game I started in a more aggressive manner. The main thing was to focus on myself and not on what he could do.” Paul Drinkhall

Jon Persson delights home fans

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

Positive, Jon Persson emerged the one player from the host nation to book a place in the main draw. Prior to Hampus Nordberg, the winner in 2012, losing to Frenchman, Enzo Angles (3-11, 11-7, 4-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6), the now 32 year old ended the hopes of Egypt’s Omar Assar (11-8, 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8).

“Omar was not so aggressive today. I was able to play my game, the first to attack. However, on occasions I was content to push the first ball long, let him top spin and then counter top spin. Also from the backhand I was able to control the play and create angles.” Jon Persson

China progresses

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Four

Impressive performances by China’s Sun Wen, Zhou Qihao, Zhao Zihao, Fang Bo, Wang Chuqin and Xu Haidong; all booked main draw places by emerging successful in the fourth preliminary round.

Sun Wen beat Pavel Platonov of Belarus (9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8), Zhou Qihao accounted for Slovakia’s Wang Yang (11-7, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9); Zhao Zihao overcame Frenchman Alexandre Cassin (11-8, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3).

Likewise, Wang Chuqin prevailed against Croatia’s Frane Kojic (11-8, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4), Xu Haidong eventually overcame Tristan Flore, also from France (11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 14-16, 11-5); Fang Bo succeeded in the all Chinese contest, he ended the hopes of Yan An (11-6, 11-7, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3), the 2013 champion when beating Fan Zhendong in the final.

Xu Haidong beat Tristan Flore but needed the full seven games (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Polish pair in harmony

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round Two

Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka emerged the pair to attract the attention. They beat Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic and Izabela Lupulesku (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7), the fourth highest rated pair on qualification duty.

Problems for Serbia, not for Hungary’s Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel, the highest rated duo on initial phase duty or for the next in line, Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs. Adam Szudi and Szandra Pergel booked their main draw place by beating Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia and Shao Jieni (6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-4); Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs overcame Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova (13-11, 6-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4).

Narrow margin, experience vital factor

Women’s Doubles – Preliminary Round Two

The combination of youth and experience prevailed; the Netherlands duo of Britt Eerland, 25 years old and Li Jiao, 46 years of age, combined to upset the order of merit. In the closest match of the round they beat India’s Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath, the fourth highest rated in the qualification stage. They succeeded by the very narrowest of decisions (5-11, 11-4, 11-5, 5-11, 14-12).

Somewhat differently for the top seeded pairs it was success. Hungary’s Manika Batra and Szandra Pergel beat the French combination of Stéphanie Loeuillette and Yuan Jia Nan (11-4, 11-5, 11-4); Poland’s Natalia Bajor and Natalia Partyka ended the hopes of the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova and Dana Cechova (11-5, 11-1, 11-5).

Czech duo shines

Men’s Doubles – Preliminary Round Two

The Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik and Tomas Polansky emerged the pair to cause the biggest upset; they beat Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Thiago Monteiro, the second highest rated pair on preliminary stage duty. They succeeded in three straight games (11-9, 11-8, 11-5).

Conversely for the leading duo, the partnership of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgium’s Cédric Nuytinck, it was success. They overcame Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon in a most impressive manner (11-0, 11-7, 11-7).

Lubomir Jancarik in determined mood in Stockholm (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Korean troubles

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

It was not the best of fortunes for the Korea Republic. Jeon Jihee beat Japan’s Maki Shiomi 911-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7) but there were defeats for Yang Haeun, Choi Hyojoo and Lee Eunhye.

Yang Haeun was beaten in the closest match of the round by Austria’s Yui Hamamoto (11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7, 16-14); Choi Hyojoo experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s Sakura Mori (11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6). Meanwhile, Lee Eunhye suffered at the hands of Yuan Jia Nan of France (11-3, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6).

Surprise qualifiers

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Outstanding on the opening day of play when beating Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the highest rated player in the qualification tournament (12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8), Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin maintained her good form; she beat Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5) to reserve her main draw place.

Likewise, China’s Qian Tianyi who had beaten Poland’s Li Qian, the reigning European champion, in the first round (11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 13-11), reserved her main draw place. She accounted for Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam (11-7, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7).

Defence to the fore

Women’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

The art of defence was very much to the fore; in hard fought contests Liu Fei prevailed against Chinese national team colleague, Zhang Rui (8-11, 11-9, 15-17, 11-9, 11-3, 13-11). Hitomi Sato emerged successful in the all Japanese duel, she overcame Miyuu Kihara (11-5, 2-11, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9). Rather more comfortably Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto beat India’s Manika Batra (12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11).

Conversely, for the defensive efforts of Haruna Ojio and Li Jie of the Netherlands it was defeat. Haruna Ojio lost to Japanese colleague, Miyu Kato (11-7, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5); Li Jie also experienced defeat at Japanese hands, she was beaten by Hina Hayata (7-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6).

Liu Fei, classic defensive technique (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
High tempo

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Playing at a high tempo suits England’s Paul Drinkhall; that fact was underlined earlier this year when he won the men’s singles title at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Serbia Open, beating Frenchman, Abdel-Kader Salifou in the final. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to impose himself on the contest (8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-3, 11-2, 11-1).

Against Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic it was very much the same, he trailed by three games to one before pressing the accelerator to secure a full distance win (11-7, 5-11, 6-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-5).

“He’s strong from the backhand, so I tried not to let him play his strength. He did miss some backhands. I tried to impose my gain; even when I was losing 3-1 I felt good in myself. It was important to try to establish a fast tempo; also in the seventh game I made a really good start, at 10-4 he played an outrageous backhand but to win he would had to do that again and again.” Paul Drinkhall

Different scenario for Alexandru Cazacu

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

The surprise winner the previous day in opposition to Portugal’s Marcos Freitas (11-9, 13-15, 5-11, 11-3, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6); facing another left handed top spin attacking player, Romania’s Alexandru Cazacu experienced a reversal of fortunes. He was beaten by Frenchman, Enzo Angles (9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).

“In the first game I didn’t serve that well, I was throwing the ball too high. After the opening game I created more angles when I served; I played better when I stepped around my backhand to play my forehand. He plays with a great of top spin, so I had to keep varying the play.” Enzo Angles

Run of Chinese success ended

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Match after match, facing adversaries from foreign shores, Chinese players have progressed; that scenario was halted by Thailand’s Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon. He withstood a brave recovery by Zhang Yudong to reserve his place in round four (11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 2-11, 11-5).

“At the start of the match I was doing well in the short play but after the third game he changed and started to flip the ball more. In the seventh game I think he became nervous; I became more confident in the open play.” Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon.

Behind the scenes

While the intense qualification action continues, the seeded stars are preparing to take to the stage.

Difficult start for hosts but morning saved

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

Defeats for Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Elias Ranefur but the host nation’s morning was saved by left-hander Viktor Brodd, who outpaced his Croatian counterpart Andrej Gacina in emphatic style (11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9).

“Good tactics, I think today I was perhaps too fast for him but also my ball placement was accurate. I received service well; I expected he would use the forehand reverse serve more. I moved well, overall it was a solid performance.” Viktor Brodd

Pavel Platonov stops opening day hero in his tracks

Responsible for Jonathan Groth’s exit on the opening day of qualification but Mehdi Bouloussa’s journey is over with the Frenchman falling to Belarusian Pavel Platonov in a seven-game thriller (10-12, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7).

“Mentally I felt really good before playing Mehdi; the fact we won the mixed doubles match gave me a real boost. It was a question of focus on every point; I was down two games to one but came back. He was very aggressive; he is very powerful, very strong from the backhand. In the seventh I was down 2-4 and then level at 5-5. I felt calm in my mind and maintained concentration.” Pavel Platonov

Takuya Jin continues to show progress

Men’s Singles – Preliminary Round Three

One of Japan’s up-and-coming names, Takuya Jin continues to pick up noteworthy results with his latest coming in preliminary round three of the men’s singles qualification tournament in Stockholm. Taking on Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu, the young Japanese star needed just four games to extend his stay in the competition (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).

Takyu Jin straining every sinew on his way to beating Ovidiu Ionescu (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Straight games success for Brazilians

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round One

Arguably the standout performance of the 10.10am session came courtesy of Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Bruna Takahashi, who combined to beat 2017 World Junior Championships runners-up Cristian Pletea and Adina Diaconu in straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-2).

“I don’t think we did anything special, we were able to win the rallies: that was the difference, not the short play.” Bruna Takahashi

“It was important not to give Cristian time to play, not let him into the match. I was able to top spin the first ball and Bruna could then finish the point.” Gustavo Tsuboi

Reaction from table six

Here’s what Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka had to say following their opening round success:

“Service and receive was the key, Yuan had problems with my service; Natalia was team captain today.” Jakub Dyjas

“Even though we were 5-9 down I felt confident, we just played our game.” Natalia Partyka

Koreans too strong for Källberg duo

Mixed Doubles – Preliminary Round One

Jang Woojin and Yang Haeun have enjoyed a winning start to their mixed doubles campaign in Stockholm after the pair from Korea Republic successfully dealt with Sweden’s Anton and Christina Källberg 3-1 in preliminary round one (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 15-13).

One of the standout encounters of the session took place over on table 6: leading by two games to one but Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Natalia Partyka were slow off the mark in game four, trailing France’s Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan 5-9 on the scoreboard. Showing great resolve Dyjas and Partyka won six points in a row to secure victory (12-10, 3-11, 11-4, 11-9).

Who will qualify?

Which players do you think will join the seeded entries in the main event?

Players to the tables

The time for the second day of qualification to commence has arrived – here’s a look at the day’s schedule:

World Tour 2019 Swedish Open The Eriksadalshallen

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Day 1 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open