30 Nov 2019

The Chengdu Airlines 2019 Men's World Cup knock out stages commence in Chengdu, China at the Sichuan Province Gymnasium on Saturday 30th November at 10:30 local time.

Follow for live updates as to who makes it to the semi-finals!

Lin Yun-Jun reaches semi-finals

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Pan American hopes have been shattered as Hugo Calderano falls at the quarter-final hurdle in Chengdu. A huge performance from Lin Yun-Ju in game five sees the Chinese Taipei player over the line (5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6, 11-3).

Post-match handshake between Hugo Calderano and Lin Yun-Ju (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Margin widens

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Lin is looking well-placed here with back-to-back game successes in games three and four (11-6, 11-6). The 18-year-old now requires just one more game but can the man standing opposite, Hugo Calderano the ‘Thrill from Brazil’ find his way back into this one?

Lin recovers to pull level

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Flying the flag not just for Brazil but also the Americas, Hugo Calderano makes a positive start to his men’s singles quarter-final (11-5) but the lead doesn’t last long as Chinese Taipei teenager Lin Yun-Ju wins game two (11-4) to level the match.

Lin Yun-Ju recovers from slow start (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Repeat outcome

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Boll needed to respond and did so immediately, taking game four (11-7) to restore some hope. The no.5 seed then held three game points at 7-10 up in game five, but five consecutive points in Fan’s direction brought European title ambitions to a a close (11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10).

“Frankly speaking I played better than Timo today. I made full preparations before the match. For sure both of us watched the match footage of our last encounter at the Austrian Open. Today I had a more positive mindset. When the score tied up, I played more aggressively.” Fan Zhendong

Last four awaits defending champion (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Mountain to climb

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

If Boll is going to book his spot in the last four then he’s going to have to do it the hard way. Game two goes Fan’s way by the narrowest of margins (11-9) and a ruthless display in game three (11-5) sees the World no.1 move to within a game from victory – can Boll produce what would be one of the all-time great comebacks?

Defending champion in action

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Winner at the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Paris, China’s Fan Zhendong is currently in action as he attempts to see off German legend Timo Boll in a repeat of last year’s final.

Fan Zhendong takes early lead (Photo: Rémy Gros)

One game in and it’s Fan who has seized the early initiative (11-6).

Tomokazu Harimoto survives scare to extend stay

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Trailing 1-4 in game seven Harimoto manages to claw his way back to 8-8 before winning both of his service points to gain a 10-8 lead. Two match point opportunities in his favour, Harimoto only needs the one and falls to the ground in sheer relief (11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 10-12, 12-14, 11-3, 11-8).

Sheer relief for Tomokazu Harimoto (Photo: Rémy Gros)

“I did not expect that this match would be so tough. I didn’t even prepare for a deciding game! I led 2-0, but he managed to come back and even set up a 2-3 lead. I led 10-9 in the third, fourth and fifth games. Then I thought too much and played conservatively. We train together so we are very familiar with each other. Today I did not get used to his match rhythm. But I am still happy that I took the match.” Tomokazu Harimoto

Down to the wire

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

This one’s going to a decider! Back-to-back game wins (12-10, 14-12) turns the match on its head as Niwa gains the lead for the first time in the match. Despite the momentum being in his opponent’s court, Harimoto fights back with a strong outing in game six (11-3) to take the match down to the wire – who will reach the semi-finals?

Strong start for Harimoto but Niwa responds

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

The second quarter-final contest features two of Japan’s finest as Tomokazu Harimoto, 16, faces Koki Niwa, 25. Two players who very much like to play on the front foot, it’s Harimoto who enjoys the brighter start, moving two games clear (11-6, 11-7) but a positive response from Niwa in game three (12-10) reduces the deficit to one.

Which player will go on to represent Japan in the last four?

Ma Long powers through

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

And it’s Ma Long that emerges from the match victorious, running rampant in game five to seal his spot in the semi-finals here in Chengdu (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 13-11, 11-3). It’s the end of the road for 2017 champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov meaning German hopes now fall solely on Timo Boll.

Ma Long too strong for Dimitrij Ovtcharov in Chengdu (Photo: Rémy Gros)

“I did not think too much about our head-to-head records. I just wanted to focus on today’s match. I feel that he made a lot of new changes and new tactics which worked really well, especially in the first game. I did not do anything special. I just told myself not to give up any points. He lost his concentration a little bit when he led [9-2 in game four] and after I managed to come back, maybe he got affected mentally. I think this game was the turning point in the whole match.” Ma Long

Pressure begins to mount for Ovtcharov

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

The task is beginning to look more and more difficult with each passing game for Ovtcharov, who now finds himself 1-3 down. Following a comfortable outing for Ma in game three (11-4), Ovtcharov saved a game point in game four before going on to hold one of his own. But, the German failed to convert and was punished (13-11) as Ma extends his games advantage to two.

Honours even

Men’s Singles: Quarter-Finals

Two games down and it’s all-square in the contest between Ma Long and Dimitrij Ovtcharov in Chengdu. Making a blinding start out of the gate Ovtcharov set the early place, taking the opening game by a commanding five point margin (11-6). However, an immediate response by his Chinese counterpart in game two (11-9) once again brings the scores level.

This one’s going to be tight!

Ma Long and Dimitrij Ovtcharov locked in fierce battle (Photo: Rémy Gros)
Play resumes

Following a break in play the action resumes with a mouthwatering meeting of former Men’s World Cup champions as Ma Long takes on Dimitrij Ovtcharov for a place in the semi-finals.

Ready to meet your quarter-finalists??

Hugo stuns Jha with a comeback!

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Oh what a way to secure your spot in the last 8! Hugo Calderano has turned the match on its head and won 4-3 (9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8) against USA’s Kanak Jha in a splendid display of heart, power and table tennis prowess here in Chengdu.

“Yeah, it was a very tough match for me. I could not play well. I was 3-1, 7-4 down. So I just had to keep calm and try to find good focus, find some solutions to win the match. Kanak played very well. He has improved a lot in the last month. So last month, two weeks ago in Austria, at the Austria Open, it was also a tough match but this time it was even tougher. Of course, I expect to play very well.” Hugo Calderano

The Brazilian was 1-3 down when he went to record three straight game-wins, shocking Jha on and off the table. In this feast of amazing table tennis lasting one hour and eight minutes, Calderano has set down a marker for his intent at the World Cup.

Hugo takes it to a decider!

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

And now we’re talking! The Brazilian no.1 Hugo Calderano has levelled up the scores to 3-3 against Kanak Jha as the match heads to a decider!

This has been a special performance by the older athlete here as American Jha has been shocked into a seventh game. Who holds on for the quarter-final spot??

Timo gets the win, Hugo makes amends

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Timo Boll did not hang around as he ended the fairytale for Sathiyan Gnanasekaran at the Men’s World Cup. Securing his quarter-final spot in the process, the German won 4-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8) in what was almost a classy lesson for anyone watching as to how to stay calm against a fiery opponent. Gnanasekaran should take heart from his performances in Chengdu and know that he has a bright future ahead.

“It was my first time to playing him. We’ve never played each other before, so I am quite happy that I won in the end. A tough start in the beginning, but, yeah, in the end I think I moved much better and feeling better. Now I have another big task with Fan Zhendong, so I’m looking forward.” Timo Boll

Meanwhile, Hugo Calderano has made slight amends as he won a game back against Kanak Jha. The young American then went on and got another game for himself, which means Calderano will need to step up the ante to take anything from this match.

Boll on the move, Jha gets closer to victory

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

There is an increasing intensity around the table as Timo Boll is using all his magic tricks to move beyond the reach of Sathiyan Gnanaseakaran as the German now leads him by 3-1.

Over at table 1, Kanak Jha also now has a 2-0 lead over Hugo Calderano, showing his grit and vigor against his much experienced opponent. Can Hugo and Sathiyan save their matches?

Kanak Jha is impressing in Chengdu (Photo by Remy Gros)
Sathiyan-Boll deadlock, Jha takes lead

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is clearly keeping up with his mood in the Men’s World Cup. Taking the first game against legendary Timo Boll (11-7), he is turning heads with every game he plays. The German was quick to respond with a leveller himself (11-8), but needs to be careful of this upcoming athlete.

Speaking of upcoming athletes, USA’s Kanak Jha has just taken the lead against Brazilian Hugo Calderano (11-9) and will need to keep up his forehand attack on his opponent to have any hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

Speedy Fan and clinical Lin see off opponents

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

The world no.1 is in some hot form right now, as Fan Zhendong just blew past Austria’s Daniel Habesohn. In a match of under 30 minutes, the Chinese international secured a straight games victory (11-8, 13-11, 11-7, 11-2) and safe passage into the quarters.

“I think I played normally today. Compared to the first two games, I think I played better in the third and fourth game. I gave too much space to my opponent in the first two games, but I still kept a positive mindset.” Fan Zhendong

For the teenage talent Lin Yun-Ju, it was a similarly proficient display of speed in the manner with which he completely overpowered Kristian Karlsson. In a 4-1 (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9) win, the Chinese Taipei prodigy was calm in the face of strong opposition from the Swede, but managed to get over the line in clinical fashion.

The world no.1 in action! (Photo by Remy Gros)
Fan wins one, Lin wins two

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Asian athletes are in a bit of a rush this morning, as China’s Fan Zhendong just needed 7 minutes to win his first game against Daniel Habesohn (11-8). The Austrian veteran has performed brilliantly until now and will need to channel that form to battle the world no.1.

Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju has done one better than Fan – taking a 2-0 (11-8, 11-4) lead against Kristian Karlsson in under 17 minutes. Is there a way back for the Swede or does the teenager already have his foot in the quarter-final?

Ovtcharov secures win, Sangsu can’t stop Niwa

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Dimitrij Ovtcharov is really having a World Cup full of comebacks and long drawn out victories. After going through two matches of seven and six games in the group stages, he’s managed to secure another in seven against the wild card from Sweden, Mattias Falck. Winning 4-3 (11-8, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11) it took Ovtcharov well over an hour and seventeen minutes to beat Falck and also find himself a quarter-final spot.

“Of course Mattias is one of the strongest players in the world, reaching the finals of the World Championships. One year ago we played in the same stage of the Men’ World Cup in Paris and I won 12-10 in the last set, today was 13-11 so it’s getting closer. It’s the fourth victory in a row but before that I lost some matches so it’s always a tough battle with Mattias and today he deserved the victory as much as I do. It’s tough sometimes for me, I don’t know if it was better for me to defend or attack which is what I usually like to do before Mattias is very strong defensively. Its’s a little bit like chess on the table tennis table. I’m happy I get to play with Ma Long again. He is probably the strongest player in the world and a measure to where you are but Simon had given him a good fight so I will try as well” Dimitrij Ovtcharov

For the Asian battle on the other table, Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu could not stop Koki Niwa from moving on to the final 8 as the Japanese international won 4-2 (11-6, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11) after an attempted comeback by Sangsu just didn’t materialise.

“Lee Sangsu is a strong player. I felt a bit nervous in receiving. But today I think I played well. Beating him gives me a lot of confidence. This tournament is really important for me as it is related to whether I can get the chance to play at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I will fight until the end.” Koki Niwa

European domestic heads to decider, Niwa in control

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Japan’s Koki Niwa has a strong 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 14-16, 11-7) lead over Lee Sangsu, and it looks good for measure. Sangsu has tried to counter Niwa’s speed shots with a defensive stance, but it does not seem to be working too well.

Meanwhile, the two Europeans have certainly lit up the Sichuan Gymnasium with their flair of shot making and desire to succeed. It is now 3-3 between Ovtcharov and Falck and neither looks like slowing down. Who takes the decider?

Koki Niwa can smell the quarter-final spot! (Photo by Remy Gros)
Dima levels it up, Sangsu already two behind

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

As predicted, the former world no.1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov has no plans of making this an easy fight for Mattias Falck, as the German just got the match back on equal terms to make the score read 2-2. After having played through a 4-3 and 4-2 win in the groups, it certainly will take Falck a lot to make Ovtcharov cave.

For Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu though, things could have started brighter than they have – Japan’s Koki Niwa has taken a 2-0 (11-6, 11-8) lead and is looking stronger on the backhanded slice than his opponent. Can the no. 10 seeded Sangsu hit back?

Ma claims quarter-final spot, Falck-Ovtcharov start battle

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Ma Long has just claimed his place in the quarter-final after seeing off France’s Simon Gauzy in a frantic morning match here. With the score reading 4-2 (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 15-13), it was more to Gauzy’s effort than Ma’s impetus that the match could have swung either way. In the end, the Dragon roared and moved on.

“It was a tough match, especially after the third game, every game was really close. I have not played matches for a long time, and World Cup is an important tournament, so I felt a bit stressed during the match. I expected that this match would not be easy. Luckily, I won and I still have some time to adjust and get into better shape. No matter whoever I will face in the next round, for sure it will be tough and even tougher. I will prepare for it.” Ma Long

Over at Table 2 there’s a European domestic on play as Sweden’s Mattias Falck has a 2-1 lead over German veteran Dimitrij Ovtcharov – this one has the feels of being a long, long match.

Ma Long wins a frantic match against Simon Gauzy! (Photo by Remy Gros)
Harimoto wins, Ma almost there

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Tomokazu Harimoto made sure Quadri Aruna’s one game back was just for academic purposes, as the Japanese teenager won 4-1 (11-7, 13-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6) to make his way to the quarter-finals.

“His forehand is very strong so I have to block well when he loops with his forehand and try to attack when I have chance. I have no pressure and just want to play out my best performance.” Tomokazu Harimoto

China’s veteran Ma Long is also ready to join him, now leading Simon Gauzy by 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5) going into what looks like might be the final game of the tournament for the Frenchman.

Tomokazu Harimoto shows respect versus Quadri Aruna (Photo by Remy Gros)
Gauzy and Aruna hit back!

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

Is there life left in these ties yet? Both Simon Gauzy and Quadri Aruna just won a game against their Asian opponents, with the Frenchman now trailing by 1-2 and the Nigerian 1-3.

Will Ma Long and Tomokazu Harimoto see off their colleagues and claim a place in the last 8?

Mirror starts for Ma and Harimoto

Men’s Singles – Round of 16

It is a good morning for Asian fans in the house, as China’s Ma Long and Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto have started with early wins in their matches against France’s Simon Gauzy and Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna respectively.

The ‘Dragon’ himself, Ma is looking in a good mood as he quickly won his first and second games of the tournament 11-7, 11-8. Meanwhile, Harimoto has also extended his lead to a 2-0 (11-7, 13-11) against Aruna – meaning he is two games away from reaching the quarter-finals.

Who makes it to the final four?
World Cup 2019 Men's World Cup Chengdu

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