Tournaments

10 Oct 2019

As the main draw gets underway at the 2019 ITTF World Tour German Open, the athletes begin fighting for the rights to move on a step closer to the medal-events.

Play commences at 10:00 am local time in Bremen on the morning of Thursday 10th October.

Positive conclusion to the day for hosts

Men’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

While Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s earlier in the day produced an air of devastation around the ÖVB-Arena the German crowd were left cheering in the closing session of the day as sixth seed Timo Boll held off a late comeback attempt from China’s Zhou Qihao (11-9, 11-9, 13-11, 3-11, 7-11, 11-4) to reach the last 16.

Timo Boll gives home fans something to cheer about in closing session (Photo: Lukas Kabon)

Defeat for one Chinese player but for three of the country’s other competitors in action in the 8.50pm session there were no such worries with Fan Zhendong, Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan all coming away with victories to their names.

“Like the World Championships”

A legend of the sport, it’s fair to say Vladimir Samsonov’s opinion should be held in very high regard and the Belarusian believes that the standard of the playing field in Bremen is just as strong of the World Championships stage, if not, even stronger! Do you agree?

“I’m very happy to have won such a difficult match and to be in the Round of 16. It’s a strong tournament, like the World Championships, maybe even a bit stronger! Except for Ma Long, everyone is here. There were a lot of tactics in the game, not so many long rallies, mostly only serve, return, first ball. Especially in the last game I played a bit better than him. I’ve played so many matches here now that I feel quite relaxed facing a duel with Harimoto tomorrow.” Vladimir Samsonov

Sweet revenge

Men’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

Simon Gauzy produced one of the shocks of the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest when he defeated Chinese star Xu Xin in the Round of 32. However, at the same stage here in Bremen it was a case of sweet revenge as World no.1 Xu needed just five games to get the job done against the Frenchman (11-4, 6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3).

Stunning World Championships result but Simon Gauzy can’t replicate it in Bremen (Photo: Rémy Gros)

On the wrong end of a 3-2 contest against England’s Liam Pitchford in their last head-to-head at the 2018 World Team Championships but, just like Xu Xin, Belarus’ Vladimir Samsonov also got his revenge, picking up a fine 4-3 win over Pitchford in Bremen (11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-5).

Another upset as 12th seed departs

Women’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

Hot on the heels of Bernadette Szocs’ surprise defeat there’s been another shock departure from the women’s singles draw with Sofia Polcanova heading for the exit: leading 3-1 just beyond the halfway point of the match but the no.12 seeded Austrian player couldn’t convert her advantage as China’s Qian Tianyi won the next three games in a row to progress (11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5).

Did you see this coming?

Bernadette Szocs suffers shock exit!

Women’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

What an upset! 2018 Europe Top 16 Cup champion Bernadette Szocs is out of the women’s singles draw and in very unexpected circumstances: the no.13 seeded Romanian couldn’t keep up with Russian qualifier Olga Vorobeva in an extraordinary six-game affair in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament so far (11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 13-11).

Not the result Bernadette Szocs was looking for (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Reaction from tables 1 and 4

Here’s what a defeated Dimitrij Ovtcharov and a victorious Jeoung Youngsik had to say following their respective outings against Yu Ziyang and Lin-Yun Ju:

“The participants list is very balanced from the first round to the final. I lost against a very strong opponent. The game was on a high level. The fact that I lost a 9-7 lead in the second game gave me a little crack. With a 2-0-game advantage, I would probably have made a preliminary decision.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

“I stayed close to the table in the seventh game and had an advantage through this. It is always difficult against him, we have close matches. The good thing for me is that we had already played each other before. I know his playing style. I prefer to know my opponent already.” Jeoung Youngsik

Jeoung halts young prodigy

Men’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

Regarded as one of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming stars but Lin Yun-Ju, seeded eighth, has been stopped at the first hurdle in Bremen following a shock defeat to Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik in a full distance thriller (11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7).

Jeoung Youngsik topples young superstar to progress (Photo: Rémy Gros)

There was another seven-game battle on table 1 and with it disappointing news for Germany as Dimitrij Ovtcharov saw his campaign halted by China’s Yu Ziyang (7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-8).

Brazilian comes good

Men’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

It’s the anticipated outcome on table 1 with fifth seeded Hugo Calderano emerging the victor in his meeting with Jonathan Groth (7-11, 11-7, 11-1, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9).

Yan An is also through to the second round after chalking up an impressive 4-2 win against no.14 seed Wong Chun Ting (10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-2) while the all-Japan contest between Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa favoured the latter player (4-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-3, 11-5).

Calderano vs Groth

Who will prevail in this intense battle between Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Denmark’s Jonathan Groth?

Greek defender out by the narrowest of margins

Men’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu endured a nervous hour or so over on table 4 with Greek defender Panagiotis Gionis causing the no.15 seed plenty of problems in their men’s singles round one encounter: four games into the duel Lee found himself trailing qualifier Gionis 1-3. Up against the ropes, Lee summoned his inner-warrior, showing great character to win three games on the bounce and extend his stay in the competition (2-11, 12-14, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 13-11).

“I’m very happy because it was such a difficult match. I was 0-2 down. Then I played more aggressively and pushed myself: I can do it! I can do it!” Lee Sangsu

So close but ultimately Panagiotis Gionis falls in round one (Photo: Rémy Gros)
“She’s the best player in the world!”

Despite experiencing a round one exit (11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6) Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm is pleased with how she performed in Bremen and had high praise for her conqueror Chen Meng, hailing the World no.1 as the finest player in world table tennis:

“I’m satisfied with this match even though the result doesn’t look like it. I scored 19 points in four games. I think she’s the best player in the world! She is clearly the first in the ranking. I played her three times and it was the same every time. She’s the perfect player. She can play every kind of ball no matter what I tried. If I didn’t do any easy mistakes I could have won some more points. In general I played really good at the German Open. I’m happy with my performance.” Matilda Ekholm

Revenge on the cards?

Suffering a shock defeat to Simon Gauzy at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships – can World no.1 Xu Xin avenge that result when he meets the Frenchman this evening?

Miu Hirano stopped at first hurdle

Women’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

2016 Women’s World Cup winner Miu Hirano, seeded sixth, is out of the women’s singles race in Bremen after the young Japanese star failed to build upon an early advantage in her encounter with China’s Wang Yidi (7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7).

Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin also caught the eye displaying great resolve to fight back from 1-2 down against the host nation’s Han Ying on her way to force a deciding seventh game. 16th seed Han managed to save three match point opportunities but could only delay the inevitable as Yang converted at the fourth attempted (8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-5, 5-11, 13-11).

Thumbs up for Yang Xiaoxin (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Coach has the answers

Chinese qualifier Zhang Rui pulled off a major upset in the 3.00pm session with her elimination of no.11 seed Suh Hyowon (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-4), but admitted after the match that she needed the assistance of her coach as she struggled to get to grips with her Korean opponent’s serve early on in the contest:

“I lost the second game because I couldn’t receive her serve properly. It’s really good, a bit confusing to tell the rotation. Coach Xiao Zhan told me: Try to keep the ball on the table first and if there is a chance, just take it. From the psychological point of view, you can decompress yourself through this way. Even though she is a defensive player of course I didn’t do any special preparation except for a mental one. My technique cannot suddenly be improved just by two days of special practice.” Zhang Rui

Hina unable to make Hay-ata against Chen

Women’s Singles: Round One (Round of 32)

Japan’s Hina Hayata gave her fans a roller coaster ride this afternoon in Bremen as she was engaged in a seven-game encounter with China’s Chen Xingtong.

Lasting nearly an hour, this was an epic showdown with neither athlete showing signs of giving up. Starting with a zig-zag feeling where both players picked up a game each, Chen established a slight lead at 3-2, which was cut down to 3-3 immediately. In the decider, Hayata pushed and pushed but was not able to finish the job as Chen claimed victory and a place in the Round of 16 (9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8).

“I was well prepared and thought about the difficulties that could come up, but I never expected it to be this tough. When I lost the first game, I tried to adjust my mindset and tried to play at the level, that I am able to play. I tried to use the skills I have got from training and used it in the match.” Chen Xingtong

China follows suit, double the duos in quarters

Men’s Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

Liang Jingkun and Xu Xin handed a swift defeat to Brazil’s Vitor Ishy and Eric Jouti, as their Chinese compatriots Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan exacted the same result on Belgians Martin Allegro and Florent Lambiet.

With both matches lasting just over 15 minutes and having straight games win for the Asian supremos, there was little to choose between. Xu and Liang exhibited their forehand prowess to win 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-4), while Fan and Lin had more of a defensively solid display, and yet managing the exact same score-line (11-4, 11-6, 11-6).

Winning in style, Lin Gaoyuan (nearest camera) and Fan Zhendong
Double wins for Chinese Taipei

Men’s Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju were joined in the quarter-finals by fellow Chinese Taipei representatives Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan as they both conquered their opponents in spectacular fashion.

Playing against Austrians Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, Lin and Liao were unfazed by the loss of one game and went on to win 3-1 (11-2, 11-4, 6-11, 11-7). For Chen and Chuang, the mixed association pairing of Belgium’s Robin Devos and Finland’s Benedek Olah were no match as they ran out 3-0 winners (12-10, 11-7, 12-10).

Host nation revels in five-game tie

Women’s Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

Nina Mittelham and partner Petrissa Solja gave their fans in Bremen plenty to cheer about as they were locked in a pendulum battle with Thailand’s Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut.

In a match lasting 46 minutes, the German duo took an early lead of two games but were held back by the Asian pair. Eventually, in the final game Mittelham and Solja put together some stunning shots and got the win (11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 14-16, 11-9).

Petrissa Solja and Nina Mittelham (not pictured) move on to the quarter-finals! (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Indian challengers unable to budge Chinese elite

Women’s Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath displayed a gritty performance against China’s Chen Meng and Gu Yiting, but it was to be in vain, as the Indian pair could not register more than the one game in their 25 minute encounter.

The match resulted in a 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5) win for Chen and Gu, where the score-line was not too kind on their opponents. Similarly, the mixed association pair of Adriana Diaz from Puerto Rico and Romania’s Elizabeta Samara who lost out to Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun by 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4).

Lee and Jeon imperious, Harimoto-Hayata thrill

Mixed Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee look to be a powerful duo in Bremen, as they won in straight games against Romanians Ovidiu Ionescu and Bernadette Szocs (11-5, 11-7, 12-10).

“No, it was no surprise that we lost. They are a very good pair. In the Asian Championships they almost beat Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, were 2-0 and 10-8 in the lead. Be believed in our game but they were the better players today. We will try again at the next tournament.” Ovidiu Ionescu

Meanwhile, Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata were involved in a thriller with Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja which ended in the Asian pair winning 3-1 (8-11, 12-10, 12–10, 11-9). The match was a feast for the fans with elite athletes engaging in a lot of rallies.

Thrilling pair: Hina Hayata and Tomokazu Harimoto.
Wong and Doo pass the test

Mixed Doubles: Round One (Round of 16)

The most in-form duo across mixed doubles this World Tour season, Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem were tested early on as they faced Serbians Aleksandar Karakasevic and Izabela Lupulesku. Despite losing the first game, the Hong Kong duo returned into the match with a strong showing of mobility across the table and went through to the quarter-finals in style, winning 3-1 (7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-3).

Let the main draw begin!
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World Tour 2019 German Open Bremen
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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour German Open

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