29 Nov 2019

The Chengdu Airlines 2019 Men's World Cup commences in Chengdu, China at the Sichuan Province Gymnasium on Friday 29th November at 10:00 local time.

Follow for live updates as to who will progress to the main stage draw!

Vladi departs

Group A – Match 3

A fine recovery effort from Vladimir Samsonov, who fights back to level the match at 3-3. But, it’s not enough as Daniel Habesohn produces a blinding display to win the decider by a six point margin (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 7-11, 11-5).

Habesohn will take his place in the main event on what is his Men’s World Cup debut while top spot in the group is reserved for Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

Karlsson comes good in the end

Group C – Match 3

Game four of Kristian Karlsson’s meeting with Heming Hu has spectators on the edge of their seats as the Australian saves three game point opportunities, having held one of his own earlier. Eventually Karlsson converts and another successful outing in game five sees the Swede over the finish line (8-11, 11-2, 11-8, 15-13, 11-8).

Karlsson and Hu show respect (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Early signs promising for Daniel Habesohn

Group A – Match 3

The supposed underdog in Group A but Austria’s Daniel Habesohn is looking in good shape out on table 1. He leads Vladimir Samsonov 2-1 after the conclusion of game three. Can the Belarusian legend turn this one around?

Australian holding his own

Group C – Match 3

The lowest seeded player on duty but Australia’s Heming Hu is giving a good account of himself in the closing Group C fixture and takes the early lead. However, Swedish opponent Kristian Karlsson makes a quick response and before long turns the match on its head by recovering from 0-1 down to lead 2-1 – Plenty still to play for in this one.

Comeback sends Kanak Jha to Round of 16

Group B – Match 3

Trailing 0-2 on the scoreboard and with pressure beginning to mount, but United States teenager Kanak Jha refused to give up the fight showing great character to win four games on the bounce (15-17, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

“It was a long day with two tough matches. I started in the morning with Lee Sangsu. I think I played well in the match but my focus was not so good… After this match, I tried to calm down and got some rest. Going into the second match, it was a bit tough for me. Omar is a totally different player from Lee Sangsu. He is very safe. In the first two games, I could not find the right tactics against him. From the third game, I changed my rhythm and then I played better and better…” Kanak Jha

The result means it’s Kanak Jha who joins Lee Sangsu in qualifying from Group B while Omar Assar’s journey ends early in Chengdu.

Kanak Jha fights back to reach main draw (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Indian delight as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran tops group

Group D – Match 3

Amazing scenes on table 2 as Sathiyan Gnanasekaran completes an exceptional day one performance with a 4-2 victory over Jonathan Groth (11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 16-14, 8-11, 11-8).

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran celebrates in Chengdu (Photo: Rémy Gros)

The result sees Sathiyan Gnanasekaran top Group D, with Simon Gauzy also moving through as runner-up. As for Jonathan Groth it’s an early departure for the Dane with two defeats to his name.

Sathiyan continues good form, Jha struggles

Groups B & D – Match 2

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is loving life in Chengdu at the moment, as the Indian has won his first two games (11-3, 12-10) against Jonathan Groth in a quest to top his group. The Danish international needs to win to stay in the tournament, and will need to dig deep to usurp Gnanasekaran’s lead.

Over in Group B, Kanak Jha has lost his first game to Omar Assar – both of whom need a win to assure themselves a spot in the final 16. The Egypt veteran looks far more in control of his play than his young opponent, and will want to use that to his benefit.

Strong start for Omar Assar in crucial match (Photo: Rémy Gros)
But he gets the win anyway!

Group A – Match 2

After an engaging battle with his experienced opponent, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov secured his place in the last 16 as he beat Vladimir Samsonov 4-2 (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6).

“We know each other very well, there’s no more surprises. He knows what I think, and I know how he thinks, so I think the one who is in a better shape on the day will win. Today I was better and stronger. I don’t know who I will play against, so right now I’m happy I won both of my matches today and qualify for the main draw in which I’ll try my very best to win a medal.” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

It was a encouraging display by the Belarussian, who can still join Ovtcharov in the next round should he see off Daniel Habesohn in their upcoming match. For the German, he will take heart in his two wins which could not have been more dramatically achieved!

Samsonov pushes Dimitrij back

Group A – Match 2

This veteran battle is one getting better with every passing shot, as Vladimir Samsonov has brought score back to 2-3 in the favor of Dimitrij Ovtcharov and the German is surely starting to think about yet another potential decider headed his way.

After taking the third game, Samsonov lost out the fourth and then won the fifth – all by the same 11-7 score. Neither of the former World Cup winners are looking off the pace and that is great news for all the fans in the stadium. Who will make his momentum count?

Still got it: Vladimir Samsonov (Photo by Remy Gros)
Karlsson strolls, Dimitrij in control

Groups A & C – Match 2

Kristian Karlsson has run away with a win over Quadri Aruna, showing his decisive nature of play and completely overpowering the Nigerian (12-10, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9). The Swede looked to be in a rush as he blitzed through the four games in 30 minutes, and kept up the pressure with his forehands down the table – no matter the manner of Aruna’s returns.

German Dimitrij Ovtcharov is looking to secure his place in the final 16, as he is up by 2-0 versus Belarus’ veteran Vladimir Samsonov, who has an impeccable record at the Men’s World Cup. Can he swing the game around and give Ovtcharov another long-drawn out game?

Sangsu reaches last 16, Karlsson leads against Aruna

Groups B & C – Match 2

Lee Sangsu has seen off the challenge of Kanak Jha in a 4-2 win (9-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6) for the Korea Republican. The no.10 seed was imperious in the final three games, giving Jha no room to work with. This sends Sangsu to the last 16 as top of Group B, and Jha will need to win his next match to do the same.

“This was not an easy match, but I am happy that I won it. I played two matches today and now I feel happy to make it into the main draw. I will make full preparations for tomorrow’s matches. Everyone here is really big player. Every match matters. What I can control is only myself. And I believe that my hard work will eventually pay off.” Lee Sangsu

Over at table 2, Quadri Aruna will need to step up if he wants to join Sangsu in the round of 16 – the Nigerian is losing 0-2 to Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, who has started very powerfully.

Lee Sangsu is in-form at the Men’s World Cup. (Photo by Remy Gros)
Pendulum for Jha-Sangsu, Gauzy wins

Groups B & D – Match 2

Kanak Jha and Lee Sangsu are engaged in a one-for-one battle, as the score sits at 2-2. Neither athlete is letting up and the intensity is increasing by the point – who’s still got their money against a decider?

Meanwhile, Simon Gauzy upped the ante against Jonathan Groth to win the match 4-1 (11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2) in under 35 minutes – assuring himself of a chance at reaching the knockout stages.

“I think it was a good match, especially mentally after losing such a close match this morning. I took 15 minutes to digest this defeat. I need to come back and try my best to win this match to be in the round of 16 tomorrow. That is what i did and I played really good match.” Simon Gauzy

Jha faces Sangsu,  Gauzy needs a win

Groups B & D – Match 2

The second round of group stage matches have started here in Chengdu, as American prodigy Kanak Jha took the lead against Lee Sangsu, winning 11-9. The Korea Republic international already has one win in the bag, so this match will cement his place in the last 16, and with him immediately hitting back against Jha (11-8) to make the match one game apiece, who will blink first?

France’s Simon Gauzy needs a definite win to stay in the competition, after having lost his first game to Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. He’s made a good start to that mission, taking the first game against Danish Jonathan Groth – who has then equalled the score to 1-1. Can Gauzy find his rhythm?

Another decider, another epic!

Group A – Match 1

This certainly is the best way to start a World Cup! Daniel Habesohn and Dimitrij Ovtcharov have just given the fans a treat lasting well over an hour, one which the German came out on top of – but just barely.

Habesohn was the primary conductor of this epic, as the debutant at the Men’s World Cup won three games in a row to completely rewrite the script of the match. Coming into the decider with confidence, he took a 7-4 lead at which point it was now or never for Ovtcharov. The German responded brilliantly, using a calm head and smart footwork to record a 4-3 win (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8) but one which definitely will be remembered for the performance of the Austrian veteran.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov really had to dig deep for that win!
Habesohn jolts Ovtcharov!

Group A – Match 1

Daniel Habesohn has certainly rattled the cage with Dimitrij Ovtcharov, as he just won back-to-back games against the German (11-8, 11-8), sending this match into “What-if” category.

While the score reads 3-2 to Ovtcharov, it will still take a mighty effort from the 33 year old Austrian to turn this around! Are we in for another decider?

Ovtcharov takes lead, Aruna secures his win

Groups A & C – Match 1

Former world no.1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov has taken a 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-9) lead against Austrian Daniel Habesohn in their first group match. Habesohn has looked spirited with his returns, but Ovtcharov seems to have just about too much for the debutant.

“I won 4-0, it might seem like it was easy but it was not easy for me because I was injured and I have not been practicing for 10 days and only started coming back 3 days ago. It is also a long journey to get here and I’m feeling a little tired but it was a good match for me and I am happy to win. It’s always great to be representing Africa, to be representing all the African countries. It has always been a great privilege to be representing Nigeria” Quadri Aruna

Meanwhile, Quadri Aruna defeated Heming Hu in straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6) after a stunning show of his speed of play in a match lasting just 26 minutes. Despite Hu’s best efforts, the match never looked out of Aruna’s control – the Australian now needs a win to stay in the tournament.

Strong in the shot, Quadri Aruna. (Photo by Remy Gros)
Aruna makes for a powerful introduction

Group C – Match 1

Quadri Aruna has made a strong start against Australia’s Heming Hu as the Nigerian is up by 2-0 (11-6, 11-7) in 15 minutes.

The Oceania Cup winner Hu has pushed him back in both games but will need something special to overturn the momentum of this match.

Sathiyan wins epic!

Group D – Match 1

Well that certainly was a ride! Sathiyan Gnanasekaran has come back from 0-2 down to win 4-3 (11-13, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8) against Simon Gauzy in a magnificent start to the Men’s World Cup group stages!

“I am just out of words, this is a fantastic win for me. This is the first time I am beating Gauzy after losing two very close match. I was match point up in the world team championships and I lost. This was getting into my head, not again. My coach kept motivating me and I just kept believing. Gauzy played very well and thanks to the crowd for their support. Losing the first game after being 10-6 up, I was a little upset that I could not capitalise on it. Gauzy is that kind of a player, you can never take it easy with him. He is always coming back at you but I was ready for it this time and really happy that I was successful.” Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

In this 1 hour 4 minute epic, Gnanasekaran has certainly shown his immense quality at the table and the grit he has to do what he’s done. Gauzy looked like he was in control early on but the consistent backhand block and return shots from Gnanasekaran have turned this match on its head. More of this, please!

What a way to announce yourself, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran!
Sangsu secures victory as Sathiyan takes it to a decider

Groups B & D – Match 1

Lee Sangsu managed to wrap up his match with Omar Assar in the fifth game (14-12, 11-9, 11-4, 13-15, 11-6) after the Egyptian gave him a tough battle when he won the fourth game 15-13. It was to be in vain and he will now need to win his next match to have any hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Frenchman Simon Gauzy and Indian Sathiyan Gnanasekaran are headed to a deciding seventh game after both athletes won another game each in a thrilling early contest here at the Sichuan Gymnasium. Who will get the win?

Sathiyan gets one back – and then another!

Groups B & D – Match 1

Well now things are getting very interesting over at table 2, with Gnanasekaran having levelled up the score to 2-2 after winning two games back to back against Gauzy. The Indian athlete has certainly risen to the occasion here, but can he find the victory?

Over at the other end, Lee Sangsu has a 3-0 (14-12, 11-9, 11-4) lead over Omar Assar with less and less chance for the Egpytian to make a return – unless he can channel Gnanasekaran’s spirit!

Strong starts for Sangsu & Simon

Groups B & D – Match 1

Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu has taken an early lead in his match against Egypt’s Omar Assar here in Chengdu, on the first day of action. The 10th seed has started well with good shots deep off the table, making life difficult for Assar (14-12).

Meanwhile, Frenchman Simon Gauzy is in total control of his match versus India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, leading by 2-0 (13-11, 11-9) in under 20 minutes. Is there any chance for Gnanasekaran to make a comeback?

Who makes it past the group stages?
World Cup 2019 Men's World Cup Chengdu

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Day 3 - Chengdu Airlines 2019 ITTF Men's World Cup