13 Nov 2019

Success for Frenchman Emmanuel Lebesson nine days ago in Minsk, the top step of the podium; on Tuesday 12th November in Linz it was a very different story.

At the 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum Austrian Open, it was farewell in the second preliminary round of the men’s singles event. He was beaten in straight games by fellow left hander, China’s Zhou Yu (18-16, 17-15, 11-7, 17-15).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Defeat contrary to status against lower ranked opposition; presently Emmanuel Lebesson is listed at no.31 in the global order, Zhou Yu at no.112.

However, he was not the only notable name to experience a surprise second preliminary round men’s singles exit; the highest rated to depart was Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, ranked no.20. He suffered at the hands of Spain’s Diogo Carvalho (11-9, 11-8, 11-6, 4-11, 11-6).

Similarly, Japan’s Masaki Yoshida, listed at no.142 and Mizuki Oikawa named at no.99, caused major upsets. Masaki Yoshida beat Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon (12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7); Mizuki Oikawa demonstrated a liking for the defensive art, he overcame Slovakia’s Wang Yang (11-6, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8). On the current world rankings, Lim Jonghoon occupies the no.29 spot, Wang Yang is at no.42.

Notable success for the Land of the Rising Sun but there was the reverse scenario; Kazuhiro Yoshimura, named at no.38 was beaten by Aliaksandr Khanin (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5), listed at no.146.

Exits for major names and there was one more significant name to depart in the second preliminary round but with the greatest of respect to Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic, I would suggest not a major upset. Ranked no.58 he was beaten by China’s Yan An, listed at no.174, a player who on his day can challenge the very best. In 2013 he beat colleague Fan Zhendong in the men’s singles final in Stockholm; in 2017 he accounted for Shan Kun, also from China, to strike gold in Budapest.

Bojan Tokic beaten by Yan An (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Problems for Ukraine

Upsets in the early preliminary rounds of the men’s singles event, it was same in the counterpart women’s competition; the nation to suffer being Ukraine.

In the second preliminary round Margaryta Pesotska, ranked no.35 and Tetyana Bilenko, named at no.82 both departed. Margaryta Pesotska was beaten by Japan’s Kyoka Idesawa (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 2-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7); Tetyana Bilenko experienced defeat when facing Russia’s Olga Vorobeva. On the current women’s world rankings, Kyoka Idesawa is named at no.454, Olga Vorobeva at no.140.

Problems for the Ukraine duo, it was the same for Hungary’s Dora Madarasz, ranked no.67 and for Britt Eerland of the Netherlands at no.48, as well as for Japan’s Sakura Mori at no.62 and Satsuki Odo at no.83.

Dora Madarasz lost to Romania’s Irina Ciobanu, listed at no.121 (12-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6), Britt Eerland was beaten by Yuan Jia Nan of France who occupies the no.190 spot. In a similar vein, Sakura Mori suffered at the hands of Russia’s Valeria Shcherbarykh (12-10, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4); Satsuki Odo lost to Singapore’s Zeng Jian. On the current rankings, Valeria Shcherbarykh is at no.161, Zeng Jian at no.100.

Worthy names departing and just as in the men’s singles event there was an upset that perhaps was no great surprise. World ranked no.74, the host nation’s Amelie Solja departed at the hands of Spain’s Liu Xin (11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 11-2), a player with no world ranking. Make no mistake Liu Xin is no mean player, in 2014 when representing China, she won the women’s singles and under 21 women’s singles titles at the ITTF World Tour Brazil Open.

It may look painful but it was success for Zeng Jian (Photo: Rémy Gros)


Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 13th November.

World Tour 2019 Austrian Open Emmanuel Lebesson Zhou Yu

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open