SHAN Xiaona beat the top seed in DohaPhoto: ITTF
Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open
In the second round of the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2011 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open Portugal’s Marcos FREITAS, the no.12 seed halted fantastic run of Croatian qualifier, Tomislav PUCAR. He fought back from three games to one in arrears to record a seven games success (4-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6).
“It is the first time that I have played against him; quite simply in the first part of the match he played very well. He received service well, he was very strong from the backhand playing; especially playing the ball down the parallel. He took some risks and I was a little passive. After the fourth game I played better I made good starts and he started to make some mistakes. In a seventh game anything can happen but I was more confident having won the last two games. I was very focused, I tried to make sure I was consistent, I concentrated on putting the ball on the table”, said Marcos FREITAS
Germany’s Dimitrij OVTCHAROV the no.6 seed suffered by the hands of Japan’s Masaki YOSHIDA. YOSHIDA, not seeded, required to compete in the qualification tournament; presently listed at no.72 on the Men’s World Rankings, as opposed to Dimitrij OVTHAROV who is at no.5 (11-6, 6-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8).
In the round of the last eight he faces Fan Zhendong, the player listed at no.2 on the current Men’s World Rankings and behind colleague Ma Long, the second seed in Doha. Imposingly, Fan Zhendong accounted for Spanish qualifier, Alvaro Robles (11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10) to reserve his place in the quarter-finals.
LIANG Jingkun overcame fellow qualifier, Sweden’s Mattias KARLSSON (11-6, 11-7, 14-12, 4-11, 4-11, 13-11) to set up all Chinese last eight duel.
In the Men’s Doubles Event Masataka MORIZONO and Yuya OSHIMA, the top seeds, accounted for Belgium’s Robin DEVOS and Cédric NUYTINCK, the no.7 seeds (11-4, 12-10, 11-8); Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON ended the hopes of fellow qualifiers the French partnership of Tristan FLORE and Emmanuel LEBESSON (11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-2).
“We played really well today, we were clever. The first attack, the first return is always important; in that respect we were good today. Both of them return well from the backhand using the banana technique. Short, short we were good today; we were able to play our game and we followed the short play very strongly”, Mattias KARLSSON
The Men’s Doubles final will be played on Sunday.
Germany’s SHAN Xiaona caused the biggest upset; Poland’s Natalia PARTYKA gave the most accomplished performance as play began in the second round of the Women’s Singles event. SHAN Xiaona beat China’s ZHU Yuling in five games (11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7).
“I think I played well against Zhu Yuling today, my receive of her serves was good. She was slower getting into the game as well and wasn’t playing her best level. Our last encounter ended with me losing three-four at the Japan Open last year, it was very close, it was a pity that I lost but that made me realise that I still have a chance. To be frank, my goal was just to take two games off her. In the fifth game when I was leading 3-1, I was thinking of finishing the game quickly to win but I knew that game was crucial, if I lost that game, she could have easily come back to take the match. I think I’m really lucky to be able to win. I think generally for Chinese players, they have a lot of pressure to win when they come out to compete and that gives foreign players an advantage in setting a good mentality against them”, explained SHAN Xiaona
Poland’s Natalia PARTYKA accounted for fellow qualifier, Korea’s YANG Haeun. However, there is a gap of over 50 places on the current Women’s World Rankings; PARTYKA stands at no.78, YANG is at 27.
CHEN Meng, the no.9 seed, accounted for HAN Ying, the no.5 seed and like SHAN Xiaona from Germany (7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4). WANG Manyu ended the progress of Slovak Republic’s Barbora BALAZOVA (11-6, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-6).