OVTCHAROV and POLCANOVA lost in straight games
T2 Diamond Table Tennis League (T2 Diamond) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Three European players lost in the opening round of the T2 Diamond Table Tennis League (T2 Diamond) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (July 18-21), playing against strong China’s players: MA Long vs. Simon GAUZY (France) 4:1, XU Xin vs. Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 4:0, WANG Manyu vs. Sofia POLCANOVA (AUT) 4:0.
Strongest title contender in the Men’s event MA Long of China beat Frenchman Simon GAUZY 4:1 (11:7, 11:9, 11:4, 6:11, 5:0). GAUZY, who was ranked 17th in the World Tour Standings, replaced 2017 winner, German star Timo BOLL (Germany) who cancelled his participation due to injury.
Actual Olympic and World champion showed his power in the first three games, but 2016 European Championships runner-up managed to win fourth set. The fifth one was decided after five consecutive points of MA, due to FAST5 rule. T2 Diamond introduced 24-minute match clock, with games without tie–breaks or two–point differential. In case there is no winner after 24 minutes, a FAST5 has to be involved with the first player to five points winning the game.
XU Xin overcame Dimitrij OVTCHAROV who couldn’t find his rhythm in each of four sets. Austria’s rising star Sofia POLCANOVA forced no. 1 seed WANG Manyu to play her best in the opener, but in the rest of the match China’s player was unstoppable.
The 32 world’s best ranked players, 16 in each of men’s and women’s events, are competing at the first event of this year’s T2 Diamond series in the Johor Bahru, the city which hosted the inaugural season two years ago. Other two tournaments will be held in China’s city of Haikou (September) and Singapore (November). Players will fight for prize money of USD 1.5 million for all three events and bonus World Ranking Points prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Day 1, July 18th, Session 1
LIN Gaoyuan (CHN) - WANG Chuqin (CHN) 4:1 (8:11, 11:7, 11:5, 11:7, 5:4)
MA Long (CHN) – Simon GAUZY (FRA) 4:1 (11:7, 11:9, 11:4, 6:11, 5:0)
CHEN Meng (CHN) - DOO Hoi Kem (HKG) 4:2 (11:5, 11:10, 7:11, 11:2, 1:5, 5:3)
Kato MIYU (JPN) - Ito MIMA (JPN) 4:3 (4:11, 11:4, 11:10, 11:4, 1:5, 1:5, 5:4)
Day 1, July 18th, Session 2
XU Xin (CHN) – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) 4:0 (11:5, 11:8, 11:7, 11:9)
WONG Chun Ting (HKG) – Tomokazu HARIMOTO (JPN) 4:2 (11:9, 6:11, 11:10, 11:5, 2:5, 5:3)
WANG Manyu (CHN) – Sofia POLCANOVA (AUT) 4:0 (11:10, 11:7, 11:3, 11:5)
CHEN Szu-Yu (TPE) – SUN Yingsha (CHN) 0:4 (6:11, 8:11, 3:11, 5:11)
Day 2, July 19th, Session 1
LIN Yun-Ju (TPE) – Jun MIZUTANI (JPN)
FAN Zhendong (CHN) – Hugo CALDERANO (BRA)
HAN Ying (GER) – CHEN I-Ching (TPE)
FENG Tianwei (SGP) – Miu HIRANO (JPN)
Day 2, July 19th, Session 2
Koki NIWA (JPN) – Mattias FALCK (SWE)
LIANG Jingkun (CHN) – Patrick FRANZISKA (GER)
Bernadette SZOCS (ROU) – DING Ning (CHN)
ZHU Yuling (CHN) – Kasumi ISHIKAWA (JPN)
More information: here