17 Nov 2019

Success in the men’s singles event for Germany’s Timo Boll on Friday 15th November at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Platinum, Austrian Open means that he is assured of a place in the Grand Finals to be staged in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou in December.

Despite defeat it is the same for Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik; the question is who will fill the two remaining places.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Most impressively, in the second round Timo Boll, the no.5 seed, beat England’s Liam Pitchford (11-5, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3); Jeoung Youngsik lost to Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 18-16, 11-7).

The current situation is that Timo Boll has 444 points and may well add to that total. Jeoung Youngsik finishes with 404 points ahead of Japan’s Jun Mizutani who was beaten by Liam Pitchford in the opening round (8-11, 11-1, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-3). Jun Mizutani concludes matters with 402 points, he is in the no.15 spot.

Now, in round two in Linz, Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.14 seed, overcame China’s Liang Jingkun, the no.6 seed, by the very narrowest of decisions (11-13, 11-8, 13-11, 12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10). Also, Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.9 seed, beat Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.7 seed (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 16-14, 9-11, 11-9); China’s Zhao Zihao accounted for Chinese team colleague, Lin Gaoyuan, the no.2 seed (5-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10).

Thus as a result of those contests, next in line to Jun Mizutani is Wong Chun Ting with 363 points, followed by Koki Niwa 356 points and Zhao Zihao 298 points.

Koki Niwa beat Mattias Falck to give himself a major chances of qualifying for the Grand Finals (Photo: Rémy Gros)

Reach the semi-finals, add a further 100 points to the existing totals. However, all three cannot add to the list, in the quarter-finals Koki Niwa meets Hugo Calderano; Koki Niwa must win to stay alive; Wong Chun Ting is presently in the last qualifying place but could he have a problem? He faces Zhao Zihao!

Also you can add to the dilemma that China’s Wang Chuqin, who had qualified for the Grand Finals prior to play commencing in Linz, is suspended, one further position may be available.

Alas for England’s Liam Pitchford and Frenchman Simon Gauzy who started the day with slight hopes; their aspirations are over: Simon Gauzy was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, the no.8 seed (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7). Simon Gauzy finishes with 237 points, Liam Pitchford 231 points.

Zhao Zhao upset the seeding. He beat Lin Gaoyuan to reach the quarter-finals (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Fight for final positions

Meanwhile in the women’s singles event, it is likewise the fight for the last places following the second round matches.

China’s He Zhoujia, the no.11 seed, beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.7 seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5); conversely Hitomi Sato, the no.14 seed, lost to colleague Mima Ito, the no.3 seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10, 11-1). The outcome is that He Zhuojia is now assured of a place in the Finals, she has 448 points and is still counting; Hitomi Sato finishes with 387 points.

However, the win recorded by Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.6 seed, against Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee, the no.16 seed (11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9) also put matters in the balance. Cheng I-Ching now owns 395 points and may add to that total, like He Zhoujia, she is Zhengzhou bound, for Jeon Jihee it is a final tally of 342 points. She occupies the no.16 spot and like Hitomi Sato can be caught.

Notably, in round two China’s Gu Yuting and Qian Tianyi both won; Gu Yuting accounted for Germany’s Han Ying (11-3, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5), Qian Tianyi ended the hopes of the host nation, she overcame Sofia Polcanova, the no.12 seed (10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9). Additionally, Japan’s Hina Hayata beat Korea Republic’s Suh Hyowon, the no.10 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4).

The results mean that at the start of play on Saturday, Gu Yuting has 299 points, Qian Tianyi 264 points and Hina Hayata 190 points. Add a further 100 points for a semi-final berth, another 100 points for a place in the final; both Hitomi Sato and Jeon Jihee could be in trouble. At the quarter-final stage Gu Yuting meets colleague, Zhu Yuling, the top seed; intriguingly Qian Tianyi opposes Japan’s Hina Hayata.

Crucially at the quarter-final stage, Qian Tianyi meets Hina Hayata (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Chinese Taipei claims place

Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, a quarter-final exit for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.6 seeds, being forced to concede their anticipated meeting against the Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the top seeds but it was sufficient to claim the very last place on the standings.

They finish in an effective no.8 spot (270 points) and thus leapfrog Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, also from Korea Republic but not together as a pairing in Linz (263 points); they finish in the no.9 spot.

Any slight hopes harboured by the combination of Poland’s Jakub Dyjas and Cédric Nuytnick alongside Austria’s Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn disappeared in the quarter-finals. Jakub Dyjas and Cédric Nuytnick lost to Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seeds (11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6); Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn, the no.7 seeds, suffered at the hands of Japan’s Masataka Morizono (11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Thus Jakub Dyjas and Cédric Nuytnick finish in the no.10 spot (201 points) followed by Robert Gardos and Daniel Habesohn (177 points).

Chen Chien-An (left) and (right) Chuang Chih-Yuan claimed the last men’s doubles qualifying place (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Decisions made

The final place in the men’s doubles decided, it is the same in the women’s doubles. The defeat experienced by Singapore’s Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu, the no.6 seeds, by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding game (2-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-1, 11-9), means that Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam end the year in the no.8 eligible spot (176 points). Lin Ye and Yu Mengyu conclude matters one place below (139 points).

Decisions made, in the mixed doubles the only decision to be made was which Korea Republic pair would qualify, in the Grand Finals a national association is eligible for only one partnership. The quarter-final clash between the compatriots decided the outcome, Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin beat Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the no.4 seeds, in five games (9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 16-14, 11-8) to secure the precious place

Success for Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin but one round later it was defeat at the hands of China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Zhu Yuling (11-9, 10-12, 11-4, 11-8); the end result is that Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin end the year in the no.5 spot (338 points).

Cho Daeseong (left) and (right) Shin Yubin beat colleagues Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee to reserve their place in the Grand Finals (Photo: Rémy Gros)
World Tour 2019 Austrian Open Timo Boll Wong Chun Ting Koki Niwa Zhao Zihao

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open