(by Wade Townsend)
The last quarter finalists of the Men’s Singles were decided this morning, with a few hiccups from China along the way.
Lee Sangsu (KOR) made short work of Lin Gaoyuan (CHN) at the LION Japan Open this morning, winning 4-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7); but it is hardly a surprise.
The pair played three times in 2011. Lee won 4-1 on all three occasions. They haven’t played in an ITTF event since but obviously time has made little difference.
“Maybe my serves are very difficult for Lin to receive, so I can make a lot of offence. And today my condition is best. He played a lot of long topspin balls and I won these points.” Lee Sangsu
Lee is in form this month and isn’t slowing down. After a bronze medal in Düsseldorf at the World Championships, a holiday was out of the question.
“I didn’t have a break after the World Championships. Instead I was training to get used to the different ball.” Lee Sangsu
Emmanuel Lebesson (FRA) held a 2-0 lead against Fan Zhendong (CHN), and at 10-10 in the fourth it looked like he could pull within one game of the match. But Lebesson missed a forehand counter and a return of serve to give Fan the game, levelling the score 2-2. Fan then took full control, winning the next two games 11-7 and 11-3 to take the match 4-2.
“His service is unique and he plays his forehand over a wide range, and I wasn’t expecting those and played like how I would play against other players, giving him a lot of opportunities to attack.” Fan Zhendong
Meanwhile both Jun Mizutani (JPN) and Liang Jingkun (CHN) navigated their way to the quarter final stage.
Checkout the full results and draw for the Men’s Singles here and be sure to watch all the action live on itTV.