by Ian Marshall, Editor
Mattias Falck, Kristian Karlsson and Jon Persson all suffered defeats at Chinese hands; for newly appointed men’s team assistant coach, Jörgen Persson, there was food for thought.
Kristian Karlsson lost to Wang Chuqin (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 11-4), Mattias Falck experienced defeat at the hands of Zhao Zihao (16-18, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7), before Jon Persson suffered when facing Fan Zhendong, the reigning champion (9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7).
Meanwhile, earlier in the qualification stage, Anton Källberg had experienced defeat at the hands of Sun Wen, also from China (11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10), Truls Moregard had been beaten by Serbia’s Aleksandar Karakasevic (11-9, 12-10, 14-12, 7-11, 11-4).
All are players very much at the vanguard of national team selection with the 2020 particularly in mind.
Jörgen Persson reflects
That’s the way it goes, here we have a fantastic field. Playing Zhao Zihao, Mattias had some net cords at crucial times against him, the luck was not with him. However, he looks good, he is on the right way, on the right lines; you can see progress. He is now much quicker.
In the fifth game against Zhao Zihao, he led 8-3; that was his chance.
It is good to see him back after a foot injury. Now he needs more matches more competition; he needs to play more games.
He has played really well, he had a fantastic qualification. It’s great to see him play, very strong at the moment. He was very good against Fan Zhendong, playing at the highest level; perhaps he became too involved in backhand to backhand rallies and didn’t change.
Overall, most important is that now he is more stable, always maintaining a high level.
He can play better, he needs more confidence. At the moment he is up and down, sometimes good, sometimes a little below. Basically he needs to be more stable in his play.
Unfortunate, it was very difficult for him; he has a shoulder injury. He was not fully fit.