RESULT: Darko Jorgic 4-2 Quadri Aruna(11-4, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-4)
The Slovenian has caused a major upset here in the final match of day, as he has managed to eliminate Quadri Aruna from the group stages and reach the round of 16! Drawn in a group with two veterans of the sport, Darko Jorgic has shown his class and composure to come through with a decisive win. Sadly for Aruna, he is unable to proceed to the knockouts on his sixth appearance at the Men’s World Cup.
Aruna and Jorgic playing for the knockouts
It’s a knockout match before the knockouts, as Quadri Aruna and Darko Jorgic are engaged in a battle for a place in the round of 16 as qualifiers from group 3. The Slovenian Jorgic has a 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8) lead over the Nigerian, and will need to hold on tight if he is to prevent the veteran Aruna from taking this all the way to a seven-game thriller.
RESULT: Wong Chun Ting 4-2 Tomislav Pucar (11-6, 11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 19-21, 11-9)
After a long drawn out evening session, the penultimate match of the day sees Wong Chun Ting emerge victorious against Tomislav Pucar with the highlight of the match being the fifth game that ran for 40 points! It was a series of unmissable rallies between the Hong Kong China and Croatian athletes, one that the European came out on top of. However, it was to be a win in vain as Wong secured his passage to the knockout stages with a 4-2 overall win.
RESULT: Jeoung Youngsik 4-0 Ahmed Saleh (11-6, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6)
Simple does it for the Korea Republic athlete, as Jeoung Youngsik sped through his match against Egyptian Ahmed Saleh. Winning in straight games, the match was over in 22 minutes but did not lack spirit from Saleh who has definitely given evidence of his talent – a day before his 41st birthday – for all to see at this World Cup.
RESULT: Chuang Chih-Yuan 4-3 Kanak Jha (10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 14-12)
This has been a real epic between two vastly different players and a worthy seven-game decider for the fans! In this absolute nail-biter, Chuang Chih-Yuan came out on top against the USA athlete, Kanak Jha. Despite taking the early lead, Jha was unable to capitalize and the Chinese Taipei veteran managed to take away the initiative and the win in this intense battle.
RESULT: Robert Gardos 4-1 Gustavo Tsuboi (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11)
It’s a big win for Robert Gardos against Gustavo Tsuboi as the Austrian manages to finish second in group 4, eliminating the Brazilian with a well fought 4-1 win. Tsuboi had a tough time dealing with the forehands from his Austrian opponent, and just could not find a way around them long enough to push this match towards a decider.
Gardos leads, stalemate elsewhere
Robert Gardos is leading his long time colleague, Gustavo Tsuboi by 2-0 (11-7, 11-8) in a fiercely contested match in group 4. The Austrian and Brazilian are toe-to-toe, but the final points seem to be favoring the European. Meanwhile on table 2, Kanak Jha and Chuang Chih-Yuan are level after two games each (12-10, 7-11). Will the American prodigy upset another big name?
RESULT: Patrick Franziska 4-1 Quadri Aruna (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 12-14, 11-8)
The German has come through in five games against his Nigerian opponent here in Weihai. Despite a brief moment of hope for Quadri Aruna when he won the fourth game in 12 minutes, it was Franziska who managed to wrap up his second win of the day in a 7-minute game at the end of the match.
Franziska in complete control
Patrick Franziska has taken a commanding lead (11-9, 11-5, 11-8) against Quadri Aruna in the group 3 match up between two veterans. The German is weighing up for a win that will certainly take him to the round of 16, with the Nigerian trying to open his seventh Men’s World Cup appearance strongly – can he turn this around?
RESULT: Wong Chun Ting 4-2 Jeoung Youngsik (9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7, 10-12)
What an hour long epic we have just had. Hong Kong China’s Wong Chun Ting comes out on top, after a scintillating final two games which saw the very best from the two players. Jeoung Youngsik pushed Wong to the 22nd point in the sixth game, but it turned out to be the match point he could not prevent, as the Korea Republic athlete lost his first match of the group.
An Asian domestic
Wong Chun Ting and Jeoung Youngsik are on showboat mode right now, as both Asian athletes are leaving everything at the table with the score 3-2 (9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 7-11, 11-7) in the favour of the Korea Republican. The way this first day has gone, can anyone see this match not going to a decider?
RESULT: Tomislav Pucar 4-2 Ahmed Saleh (9-11, 11-1, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6)
A sigh of relief for Pucar who just about sees off a brave attempt from Saleh, beating the African competitor 4-2. There were plenty of nervous moments throughout for Pucar, particularly in game five which went the full distance, but a win is a win and that result keeps him in the race.
Slow start but Croat leads
Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar is beginning to build up some steam in his meeting with Ahmed Saleh – having trailed the Egyptian 0-1 (9-11), Pucar now leads by a 2-1 margin following stronger outings in games two and three (11-1, 11-8). A win here is vital for both players in their pursuit of the Round of 16 – who will prevail?
RESULT: Liam Pitchford 4-3 Kanak Jha (7-11, 11-4, 13-15, 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4)
Another truly magnificent battle has drawn to a close with Liam Pitchford pulling off a narrow, but crucial 4-3 win over Kanak Jha, topping Group 2 in the process. Defeat for the young American but Jha will take heart from his performance and knows victory over Chuang Chih-Yuan later in the day would be enough to qualify.
RESULT: Jang Woojin 4-2 Robert Gardos (4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7)
Jang Woojin is through to the Round of 16 after successfully topping Group 4 in Weihai. The Korean achieved the feat after picking up his second win of the day, coming out on top against Robert Gardos in an exciting six-game encounter.
Down to the wire!
Three games on from our last update and we are still none the wiser as to which player will come through this contest victorious with Pitchford and Jha tied at three games apiece. Back-to-back game wins for Pitchford (11-5, 11-5), the Englishman held a 5-2 lead in game six but couldn’t convert as Jha recovers (12-10).
American star edges ahead
Kanak Jha is doing very well out on table 1 with the United States competitor leading Liam Pitchford 2-1 (11-7, 4-11, 15-13).
There has been some wonderful attacking action on display from both ends of the table with neither player willing to let the other establish the upper hand in the rallies, but so far it’s Jha who is enjoying the contest more especially in game three which sees him save multiple game point opportunities to retake the lead. This one is going to be tight!
Gardos holding his own
A man with experience on his side, Austria’s Robert Gados is giving Korea’s Jang Woojin a good fight here in Weihai with nothing separating the two heading into game three (11-4, 7-11). Seeded four positions below his Asian opponent, Gardos is the supposed underdog in this contest – let’s see if he can surpass expectations.
RESULT: Patrick Franziska 4-0 Darko Jorgic (11-6, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6)
Precision, pace, power, we have just seen the perfect performance from Franziska who storms to a 4-0 victory over Jorgic, showing his fellow European no mercy in the opening Group 3 contest. Jorgic manages to put together a slim 5-3 lead in game three but soon becomes visibly frustrated as his opponent reclaims the advantage. After four games, Franziska emerges the worthy winner.
German leads but a sense of pride for Slovenia
Patrick Franziska is looking in fine form here with the no.11 seed from Germany cruising into a two-game lead (11-6, 11-5). It’s not the start Darko Jorgic was hoping for but this is a big occasion for the no.18 seed, becoming the first player from Slovenia to hit a ball at the ITTF Men’s World Cup!
“I was nervous going into the match because I haven’t competed in a long time, but the win helped me to relax. I’m very happy with the win. The match was more difficult than it looked but I am thankful for the 4-0 victory.” Jeoung Youngsik
RESULT: Jeoung Youngsik 4-0 Tomislav Pucar (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11)
A 4-0 win goes Jeoung’s favour but it was anything but one-way traffic in reality with Pucar offering up a tough challenge for the Korean.
Leading for most of game three, the Croatian was unlucky to emerge from the game empty handed and pulled off a mighty comeback in game four. With his back up against the wall at 9-3 down, Pucar recovered the next seven points in a row to lead but couldn’t capitalise on his game point advantage.
“I was satisfied with my performance in this match. It has been eight months since I played in an international competition. Regardless of who my opponent is, I am happy to be able to take part in one of the three marquee table tennis events and get a win.” Wong Chun Ting
RESULT: Wong Chun Ting 4-0 Ahmed Saleh (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2)
Hong Kong China’s Wong Chun Ting needed just under 24 minutes to register his first win in Weihai, producing a commanding performance against Egypt’s Ahmed Saleh. The result never really looked in doubt for Wong, who is now well placed in his quest to reach the Round of 16.
Jeoung Youngsik with the advantage
Two games into the second match on table 1 and it’s Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik with the upper hand against Croatia’s Tomislav Pucar (11-9, 11-8). This one has been pretty nip and tuck so far with very little between the two players – can the European recover? He most certainly has it within his capabilities!
RESULT: Jang Woojin 4-0 Gustavo Tsuboi (11-9, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6)
And we have another result to bring you with Korea’s Jang celebrating a very impressive start to proceedings in Group 4. Negotiating a tricky opening Jang picked up the pace and never looked back, leaving Tsuboi with no more margin for error in Weihai.
“Yeah, it has been a long time, about eight months since I played an international match. I didn’t really know what to expect! I was a little nervous in the first game but once I relaxed and got into the match, I thought overall it was quite good. To get out there and get a win was really important. It’s a really important victory, to get on the front foot and hopefully get better during the tournament. It is a very tough group but happy to get a win under my belt.” Liam Pitchford
RESULT: Liam Pitchford 4-1 Chuang Chih-Yuan (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11, 13-11)
There we have it! Pitchford has a win to his name following a cracking five-game encounter with Chuang. Down 7-10 in game four, Pitchford collects five of the next six points to extend his lead. Then we saw an incredible highlight reel worthy behind the back shot from the Englishman one game later, who went on to emerge victorious in that game also to bring the match to a close.
Tightest of margins
Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin has established an important two-game advantage in his opening fixture in Weihai, but the margins are narrow here with Brazilian hopeful Gustavo Tsuboi pushing hard. It’s 2-0 to the Korean (11-9, 13-11).
Let’s quickly check back in with table 1 and it’s Pitchford who now leads 2-1. The Englishman looks much more comfortable now he is beginning to settle in. A convincing display in game two (11-6), Pitchford also picks up game three (11-8) despite having trailed Chuang for the majority of the game.
Chuang Chih-Yuan takes first game of the day
And we’re underway here at the Dishang 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup with Chuang Chih-Yuan claiming the opening game of the day’s action in opposition to Liam Pitchford. Both players are entering this one at a fast and furious pace – Pitchford isn’t far off and saves a game point, but can’t prevent his Chinese Taipei counterpart from moving ahead (11-9).
What’s coming your way?
All four groups will be decided on day one with the top two players from each group extending their stay in the race. Here’s a look ahead to the day’s fixture line-up:
Welcome back to #RESTART!
Good morning and welcome to day one of the Dishang 2020 ITTF Men’s World Cup and with it the second stop on the #RESTART series line.
Today’s action sees 13 of the 21 players in Weihai contest the group phase of the event with eight positions in the Round of 16 up for grabs. You can read up on the draw here.