15 Nov 2019

Another day of upsets and shocks awaits, as the players continue their campaign to reach the final stages of the 2019 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open.

Play commences at 10:00 am local time in Linz on the morning of Friday 15th November.

Slow start but Zhu Yuling comes good

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

On what proved to be another day of shock results, you would have been forgiven for expecting another giant-slaying as Japan’s Miyuu Kihara claimed an early lead against top seed Zhu Yuling. However, the Chinese star responded quickly and never looked back, powering to a 4-1 victory (3-11, 11-7, 11-3, 13-11, 11-7).

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching takes the other women’s singles quarter-final spot up for grabs with the no.6 seed overcoming Korean no.15 seed Jeon Jihee in straight games (11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9).

Polcanova leaves with head held high

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

Defeat for Sofia Polcanova but the Austrian has no regrets and is already planning for next year’s event:

“I want to congratulate my opponent. She was the better player today. The support in the hall was great. I gave everything I had, in the end it was not enough. I am looking forward to next year, where I want to make it to quarter-finals.” Sofia Polcanova

Sofia Polcanova’s campaign draws to a close in Linz (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Not to be for host nation as Sofia Polcanova exits

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

There’s to be no dream title win for Austrian fans to celebrate in Linz after the country’s last standing competitor, Sofia Polcanova fell in last 16 action. 12th seed Polcanova established an early lead in her meeting with Qian Tianyi, but it was the Chinese qualifier who came away the happier player in what panned out to be a six-game contest (10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9).

Hina Hayata emerged the victor in her head-to-head with 10th seed Suh Hyowon (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4) meaning that both encounters in the 7.30pm session saw qualifiers topple seeded opposition.

Former champion Lin Gaoyuan falls!!!

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

The player responsible for eliminating Wang Chuqin in qualification, Zhao Zihao has earned another spotlight-stealing victory against one of his fellow compatriots in the Round of 16. Down 0-1 and then 1-2 on the scoreboard, Zhao took his game up another level to produce an eye-catching 4-2 victory over second seed and 2017 champion Lin Gaoyuan (5-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10).

2017 champion suffers shock exit (Photo: Rémy Gros)

German no.5 seed Timo Boll is also through to the quarter-finals following a mesmerising 4-0 win against England’s Liam Pitchford (11-5, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3). Boll will meet Dimitrij Ovtcharov in an all-German affair on Saturday afternoon.

“For preparation I watched the match from last year against Liam where I lost. I tried to seek an advantage in the game over the table. It worked out quite well. In Austria we have many fans, so people are glad that Dima and I succeeded. In my upcoming match against Dima, my receive will be the key to success. However, it is going to be a tough match.” Timo Boll

“It felt like playing at home”

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Delighted with his Round of 16 display, Dimitrij Ovtcharov heaped praise on the Linz crowd and is feeling optimistic about his chances moving forwards:

“It felt like playing at home. Great support from the fantastic Austrian crowd. Last week I lost against him in Japan, today the spectators made the difference. Currently I’m playing on high level, we will see how far I can get.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Dima is back!!!

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov has just produced one of his best performances in a while to book his spot in the men’s singles quarter-finals. In a crazy contest that saw both competitors pick up alternating game wins, it was Dima who took the plaudits in the deciding game to eliminate third seed Tomokazu Harimoto (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6).

Dima shows his strength (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Defeat for one Japanese player but for Koki Niwa it was success, beating 2019 World Championships silver medallist Mattias Falck 4-2 (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 16-14, 9-11, 11-9).

Seeding advantage but still an upset?

Women’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

While on paper a victory for a seeded combination over a pair of qualifiers may not seem that much to write home about, the result on table 2 in the 5.10pm session of women’s doubles semi-finals did cause a stir: Sixth seeds from Chinese Taipei, Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu came out on top against the high-profile Japanese partnership of Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa across five games (11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7).

In the other women’s doubles semi-final over on table 1, top seeds Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki negotiated a difficult test against Korean qualifiers Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9) to claim the other spot up for grabs in Saturday’s final.

“We just believed in each other and that was the key for victory. It’s great to be in the final, where we hope to count on support from the Japanese team.” Miyu Nagasaki

Journey ends for brave Japanese qualifiers

Men’s Doubles: Semi-Finals

Unseeded and thus required to start their campaign in qualification action, the notable progress of Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura has come to a halt at the semi-final hurdle after Chinese no.3 seeds Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan held off a late recovery attempt from the qualifiers (11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7).

Brave effort but Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura fall short (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Over on table 1, top seeds Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu needed just three games to see off Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska (11-9, 11-5, 11-7).

“The other doubles pair was very strong, but we tried to focus on our tactics. In the end the tactical advance made the difference. The final will be very tough, however, we will do our best to be prepared.” Lee Sangsu

Lebesson/Yuan cause havoc, Lin/Zhu reach final

Mixed Doubles: Semi-finals

French athletes have truly won hearts every day of the competition in Austria as Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan gave the favoured Japanese duo Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata a serious run for their money. In this one-for-one match, neither team was letting up until the decider came to pass. Hayata/Harimoto took a decisive lead in the final game and that killed the hopes of the French, ending their inspiring run (8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8).

“After being down 1-2, we made some slight adjustments in our tactics. I think, that was the reason why we succeeded in this match. Now we are excited to play the finals tomorrow.” Hina Hayata

At the other table, China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Zhu Yuling had a similarly tough battle on their hands whilst facing Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin. However, there was not to be a need for a decider in this one as the Chinese pair were very efficient to win by 3-1 (11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8) in just 30 minutes.

Double win for China

Women’s Singles: Round of 16

Wang Yidi and Gu Yuting saw off their individual challengers in a feisty afternoon session here in Linz as both Chinese athletes won in some style.

“After the good start my opponent changed strategy and I made some unforced errors. Having to go through qualification was no problem, I’m used to have such a huge amount of matches. Now I’m looking forward to my next match and I try to keep on winning.” Wang Yidi

Wang was up against the world no.8 Kasumi Ishikawa from Japan, and she was spectacular in her 4-2 (11-5, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6) win. Over at table 3, Gu needed no more than four games to defeat the German Han Ying (11-3, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5), taking the Chinese to the quarter-finals in under 33 minutes.

The conqueror of Liu Shiwen, Gu Yuting is now in the quarter-finals.
Jingkun eliminated by Wong

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

The other major upset was China’s Liang Jingkun getting eliminated at the hands of Hong Kong China’s Wong Chun Ting, in a match lasting over an hour and two minutes.

“Last year I lost in the first round against Liang, so this year I was prepared better. To win against a player from Chinese national team is always very special. I don’t know yet whom I’m facing in next round, but I will be prepared.” Wong Chun Ting

Despite taking the first game, Liang fell to a 1-3 scoreline against Wong, who was simply monstrous in his returns versus the powerful forehands of the Chinese. Liang managed to level the scores to 3-3, but then saw himself be 0-6 down in the decider. And again, he got the game to 9-9 when it looked like Wong was out of steam – but no, today was all about the Hong Kong China international making a name for himself in Linz (11-13, 11-8, 13-11, 12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10).

Deciders galore, as are upsets

Men’s Singles: Round of 16

Two out of the four matches played at the 13:00 time slot went to seven-game deciders as we saw some thrilling table tennis action here at the TipsArena in Linz. Prime amongst them was the comeback made by Lin Yun-Ju against France’s Simon Gauzy, who led the match at 3-1 going into the fifth game. The Chinese Taipei star teenager then flipped the fate of the match completely, winning three games in a row to secure a place in the quarter-finals (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).

One of the upsets which did not need a decider was Hugo Calderano’s win over Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik, as the Brazilian came out on top in a swift 4-1 match (11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 18-16, 11-7) which saw a 34-point game played between the two athletes in a display of superb rallies all around.

What an impressive win for Hugo Calderano (Photo by Remy Gros)
Jeon/Shin imperious

Women’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Shin Yubin were in full flow as they beat the Slovakian-Czech Republican pairing of Barbora Balazova and Hana Matelova in straight games (11-3, 11-9, 11-7) and under 17 minutes. There was simply a feeling of street-like speed play in Jeon and Shin’s style, something Balazova and Matelova could not cope with.

Over at Table 2, Lily Zhang and Wu Yue’s impressive run was halted by the Japanese duo Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa (5-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5). Having lost out to the American Zhang at the Women’s World Cup, this was a slight revenge for Hirano and her partner was there to help her secure the semi-final spot as well.

Liang and Lin living dangerously

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan have had multiple scares this past couple of days and the pattern continued when they faced Hungarians Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi.

“It took us some time to find our rhythm, so we were already down 1-2. We kept on fighting and stayed calm during the match. In the end we overcame our opponents. Now we are trying to get ready for the semifinals.” Lin Gaoyuan

In a match lasting 32 minutes, Lin/Liang were down 1-2 for a second round running and had to comeback from the brink of loss to secure a place in the semi-finals (12-10, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7). Both Ecseki and Szudi gave it their all and deserve a lot of credit for pushing the Chinese pair all the way.

Celebrating another comeback win, Liang Jingkun and Lig Gaoyuan.
Boll/Franziska battle on

Men’s Doubles: Quarter-finals

The German duo were faced with a tough battle against the mixed pairing of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Belgian Cedric Nuytinck, who started by levelling the score in the second game with aplomb. However, Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska were ready to rally through – pun intended – as they managed to secure victory in the next two games (11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6).

Austria’s hope in the men’s doubles hit a roadblock as Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn lost out to Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Maharu Yoshimura (11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7). For the Korea Republic pair of Lee Sangsu and Jeoung Youngsik, a bye was given as their Chinese Taipei opponents Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan had to withdraw from the competition – sending Sangsu and Youngsik directly into the semi-finals.

Youth trumps in Japanese domestic

Mixed Doubles: Quarter-finals

Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata’s youthful duo were able to win a place in the semi-finals as they beat their Japanese compatriots Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito in a well-fought four-game match (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7).

“It is a special feeling to be here. As I won with my teammate Mima Ito last year in the doubles. So I have great memories to Austria. But it is difficult to play against the own team mates. We were really focused and are happy to be in the semis” Hina Hayata

Meanwhile, the good French run continues as Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan saw off the Belarusian pair Daria Trigolos and Aliaksandr Khanin (11-5, 12-14, 11-5, 14-12) who had previously beaten much-favored Chinese Taipei and Brazilian opposition. It was an engaging match for all European fans to see the consistent progress of their athletes at such a high stage.

What more surprises lie ahead?
World Tour 2019 Austrian Open Linz

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open