03 Oct 2019

Shocks abounded in qualification for places in the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open; but now starts the main event, Thursday 3rd October, in the Eriksadalshallen.

Play commences at 10.00 am local time.

Mixed fortunes for Japan

Men’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Koki Niwa, the no.7 seed, emerged successful in the all Japanese duel against Takuya Jin (9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-7); Jun Mizutani, the no.9 seed, accounted for Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik (11-8, 11-7, 14-12, 11-5).

However, it was agonising defeat for Masataka Morizono; he suffered by the narrowest of margins against Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting (6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 13-11).

Success for Germany

Men’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.8 seed and Patrick Franziska, the no.11 seed both emerged successful but both were tested.

Patrick Franziska beat China’s Fang Bo in five hard fought games (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10); Dimitrij Ovtcharov was extended the full distance by Japan’s Yukiya Uda (11-9, 9-11m 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-6).

Spirited effort but defeat

Men’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

A spirited display but it was defeat for Jon Persson and the end of the road for Sweden. Facing China’s Jon Persson, he made the better start, he established a 10-5 lead in the opening game only to lose the next four points. Jörgen Persson, the coach sitting courtside, called “Time Out”, the break worked.

The first game in favour of Jon Persson, the next four in favour of Fan Zhendong (9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7).

A spirited effort but it was defeat for Jon Persson (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodski)
Yang Xiaoxin maintains form

Women’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin continued her good form; she upset the order of merit by beating Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem. the no.11 seed (11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Success for Yang Xiaoxin; it was the same from the Chinese duo of Ding Ning, the no.2 seed and Wang Manyu, the no.4 seed. Ding Ning beat Britt Eerland (11-6, 11-5, 11-4, 11-6), Wang Manyu overcame Austria’s Yui Hamamoto (11-4, 5-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-3).

Wins without the need for a deciding seventh game; it was not the situation for Miu Hirano, the no.9 seed, in opposition to colleague Hina Hayata. She was extended the full distance, only emerging successful by the minimal two point margin in the decider (9-11, 16-14, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11)

Disappointment for Sweden

Men’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson both experienced defeat at Chinese hands; Mattias Falck, the no.6 seed, was beaten by China’s Zhao Zihao (16-18, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7), Kristian Karlsson, the no.16 seed, suffered against Wang Chuqin (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4).

“The crowd’s cheers and the close matches on the neighbouring tables probably caused me to lose some focus in the fourth and fifth games. I forced myself get back into the rhythm quickly to prevent playing a seventh game. There are always more uncontrollable factors in a deciding game.” Wang Chuqin

Success for two Chinese players against seeded opposition; as the top half of the draw concluded there was success for one more. Zhou Qihao beat England’s Liam Pitchford (5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10)

Success for Korea Republic

Men’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Jang Woojin, the no.10 seed and Lee Sangsu, the no.13 seed, both emerged successful. Lee Sangsu beat Russia’s Alexander Shibaev (11-3, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8); Jang Woojin, the no.10 seed, accounted for China’s Sun Wen (11-9, 11-6, 2-11, 10-12, 13-15, 11-7, 11-8) thus dented the hopes of his adversary’s appearance in the forthcoming ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. Presently Sun Wen occupies the no.16 spot on the men’s singles standings (225 points).

“It’s the first time I had played against Sun Wen; I didn’t really know what to do. He is very good in open play, good in rallies. I won the first two games; then he changed, he used more backspin services. Later her changed again back to the float, no spin services. He blocked well from the backhand, in the seventh game I played more to his forehand, I felt confident in the forehand rallies.” Jang Woojin

Jang Woojin eventually overcame Sun Wen (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Three survivors

Women’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Defeats for three seeded players in the top half of the draw in the guise of Zhu Yuling, Kasumi Ishikawa and Suh Hyowon; it was also farewell to two further players who had received direct entries to the main draw.

The host nation’s Linda Bergström, the no.16 seed, was beaten by China’s Wang Yidi (11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 13-11): Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.12 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Gu Yuting, like Wang Yidi from China (11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Thus in the top half of the draw, only three seeded players – Chen Meng, Liu Shiwen, Chen Xingtong – survived.

Miyu Nagasaki repeats Sapporo success

Women’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Just under four months ago in mid June, competing on home soil in Sapporo at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Japan Open, Miyu Nagasaki had caused a major upset by beating China’s Zhu Yuling in the opening round (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9). In Stockholm she repeated the feat; she accounted for the no.3 seed in six games (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6).

“I won last time but I was not too confident before we played today; mentally I felt good. I received service well and I was able to attack quickly after my own service.” Miyu Nagasaki.

Stylish defence causes major upset

Women’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

China’s Lui Fei caused a major upset, employing her classic defensive skills to good effect, she beat Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.8 seed, in five games (11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6).

Success against the odds for player who relies on backspin artistry, for another there was the opposite scenario; the one similarity being that China caused the upset. Qian Tianyi ended the hopes of Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon (11-4, 11-9, 11-8, 13-15, 11-6).

Qian Tianyi who beat Suh Hyowon (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Chinese women follow suit

Women’s Singles: Round One (Last 32)

Two of China’s elite athletes moved on to the round of 16 in the same session of play, as Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen overcame Japan’s Sakura Mori (11-2, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4) and France’s Yuan Jia Nan (11-5, 11-3, 11-4, 12-10) – both in straight games.

With an average match time of 20 minutes, Chen and Liu were simply irresistible in their ventures, moving across the tables like magicians. Sadly for Sakura and Yuan, they were really not in the mood for magic, and saw themselves failing to win a single game against their fierce opponents.

“There’re many tournaments in a year but each time I enter a new tournament, it is like a brand new start.” Chen Meng

Lin & Liang continue China’s strong start

Men’s Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

The Eriksdalshallen in Sweden today saw another Chinese pairing swivel their penholds to perfection as Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan coasted past Brazilians Vitor Ishiy and Gustavo Tsuboi in straight games (11-6, 11-5, 11-4).

In a match lasting less than 20 minutes, Jingkun and Gaoyuan kept the pressure on their South American opponents from the start and never let-up. There was slightly less for the crowds to cheer for at Table 4 as the host nation’s team of Anton Kallberg and Truls Morberg had to withdraw due to injury, meaning Czech Republicans Tomas Polansky and Lubomir Jancarik move on in their place.

Asia and Europe battle it out

Men’s Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jang Woojin were involved in a hectic battle of wits against Polish Jakub Dyjas and Belgian Cedric Nuytinck, as the two continents athlete’s collided once again.

Dyjas and Nuytinck took an early 2-0 lead, but were hit back by Woojin and Sangsu’s impressive backhand dominant play giving the Asians a 11-0 win in the third game. After that, there was an intense flurry of shots in the fourth game, resulting in the European duo’s victory (12-10, 11-5, 0-11, 11-8).

Cedric Nuytinck helps out his partner Jakub Dyjas reach the quarters. (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Bittersweet afternoon for Japan

Women’s Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

It was an afternoon session of two contrary results for the Japanese, as Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa won in straight games against Slovakian Barbora Balazova and Czech Republican Hana Matelova – but their compatriots Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki were not so lucky.

While Hirano and Ishikawa were being supremely amazing in their tie, Kihara and Nagasaki suffered at the hands of Portuguese pair Jieni Shao and Fu Yu in an intense battle that finished 3-1 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10). At 10-10 in the last game things seemed to be working back for the Japanese, but Jieni and Fu held on to make it to the last 8.

“Service and receive, the first two attacking strokes, those were the key factors. I think we were better in the short play, short to short. In the fourth game we were down 8-10; receiving service I returned with a lot of backspin rather than trying top spin, then we could block their top spin strokes and create angles.” Fu Yu

Russian duo unable to step it up

Women’s Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

Despite a promising start, Anastasia Kolish and Mariia Tailakova could not make hay in the last days of summer as Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam and Soo Wai Yam Minnie defeated the Russians 3-1 (9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3).

Kolish and Taliakova had sprung a surprise on their Asian opponents, with the first game speaking to their vigor and ability to take the shots around the net very well. However, Ng and Soo came back with a strong forehand approach, hitting their opponents hard and claiming a well deserved place in the quarterfinals.

“We lost the first game because we did not adapt to the speed of our opponents; we made too many mistakes. From the second game onwards we found a better rhythm to our play, we played faster and we kept the ball on the table, we were more consistent.” Minnie Soo Wai Yam

Contrasting starts for Asians in Sweden

Mixed Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen served a special serving of superb table tennis for their fans, as they blitzed Romanians Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs 3-0 (11-2, 11-3, 12-10), with the first two games lasting barely 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Korea Republic-Japan match up was hardly this straightforward. Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee rallied from being 0-2 down versus Hina Hayata and Tomokazu Harimoto to raise the roof here in Eriksadalshallen as they took the match to a five-game thriller. The Japanese pairing eventually came out on top in  minutes, using their experience to win 3-2 (11-5, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8).

Success for Hina Hayata (left) and (right) Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: Ireneusz Kanabrodzki)
Exercising homely comforts

Mixed Doubles: Round One (Last 16)

European pairing of Tristian Flore and Laura Gasnier enjoyed the comforts of being the host continent as they sped to victory against Thailand’s Suthasini Sewettabut and Padak Tanviriyavechakul (11-8, 11-4, 11-5). The French duo were very clinical in their performance, a quality embodied by the Chinese athletes on table 2.

Up against the no.1 seeds Hong Kong duo Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem, China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Wang Manyu wrapped up a 3-0 win in almost 21 minutes. While losing 0-2 and ahead by 8-7 in the final game, Wong and Doo attempted timed Time Out only delayed the inevitable by saving a match point at 10-8, and then losing the match 11-9.

“We prepared well before the match with different strategies and tactics to use in the match in light of different situations. In the first and third games, we didn’t feel very comfortable and had a slow start but we didn’t give up. Because in these situations, even though we are behind, but our opponents would also feel some pressure and play differently like being more conservative in their shots, so it’s just important to maintain our composure and consistency for every point still.” Lin Gaoyuan

Players to the tables

The time for the main event to commence has arrived – here’s a look at the day’s schedule:

World Tour 2019 Swedish Open

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Day 1 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open