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Friday 21st April

Revelling in international action return, a rewarding day for Patrick Franziska

A rewarding day; it could hardly have been more rewarding for Germany’s Patrick Franziska on Friday 21st April at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in Incheon.

Partnering Denmark’s Jonathan Groth he booked his place in the Men’s Doubles final, having less than two hours earlier, reserved his spot in the last eight of the Men’s Singles event.

Furthermore, both successes were achieved against the odds.

The no.3 seeds, the European partnership accounted for the host nation’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.2 seeds in their semi-final Men’s Doubles duel (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10) and now meet a further Korean pair in the final. They oppose the partnership of Jang Woojin and Jeong Sangeun, the penultimate round winners against Chinese Taipei’s Hung Tzu-Hsiang and Yang Heng-Wei (7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6).

A somewhat unexpected success for Patrick Franziska but it was only a mild surprise in comparison with his second round Men’s Singles victory.

Currently, no World ranking, having been absent from the international scene since last November, when losing to Iran’s Nima Alamiyan in the opening round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, Patrick Franziska caused one of the day’s biggest upsets.

He beat Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed (12-10, 12-10, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3); not only was it a surprise in terms of status, it was also a surprise in terms of past meetings.

In four prior contests on the international scene, Patrick Franziska had never beaten Koki Niwa. He had suffered defeat in the Boys’ Team event at the 2010 World Junior Championships, before on the ITTF World Tour experiencing the same fate on home soil in 2011 and in 2012 when they met in Kuwait and Japan.

Success for Patrick Franziska contrary to status; it was the same for Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson; the no.9 seed, he overcame Frenchman, Simon Gauzy, the no.6 seed (11-8, 11-6, 11-6, 16-14).

However, somewhat different to Patrick Franziska, Kristian Karlsson had in the past enjoyed success against Simon Gauzy; notably in their most recent meeting, the Liebherr 2016 Men’s World Cup, Kristian Karlsson had emerged successful.

Kristian Karlsson now meets Patrick Franziska in the round of the last eight. Both the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 22nd April.



Friday 21st April

Once again causes a surprise, double success for Hina Hayata

A Women’s Doubles semi-final success on the evening of Friday 21st April brought to an end a most successful day at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Korea Open in the city of Incheon for Japan’s Hina Hayata.

After having caused a second round Women’s Singles upset by beating Germany’s Shan Xiaona (11-6, 14-16, 13-11, 12-10, 11-5); the 16 year old caused yet another.

Partnering compatriot, Mima Ito and occupying the no.3 position in the draw; not only did the two teenagers, cause a Women’s Doubles semi-final upset, they ended Korean hopes.

They beat Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the top seeds, a pair that has progressed to no less than 13 ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles finals and has emerged successful on seven of those occasions.

However, one title that has always proved elusive and continues to prove elusive is the top prize on home soil; they have never won in Korea. Last year they came close but not close enough, they were beaten in the final by the prodigious combination of China’s Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen.

A surprise outcome in the top half of the draw in the penultimate round of the Women’s Doubles event; it was the same in the lower half.

Occupying the no.5 seeded position in the event, Shan Xiaona in harness with her compatriot, Petrissa Solja overcome the Chinese Taipei duo formed by Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching. In a closely fought contest, the German partnership emerged successful in a full distance five games contest (10-12, 11-2, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8).

The title deciding contest in the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Sunday 23rd April; the match starts the finals programme and is due to commence at 2.00pm (local time).