Once Again Li Ahmet Causes Upset, Once Again at Austrian Expense
Courtesy of ITTF
The cause of the biggest upset in the first round of the Men’s Singles event just under one week ago in Kuwait, when he beat Austria’s Stefan Fegerl; Turkey’s Li Ahmet was the cause of the biggest upset in the third round preliminary round of the Men’s Singles event at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open in Doha.
Furthermore, once again it was Austria who suffered; on the evening of Thursday March 24th, he accounted for Robert Gardos, listed at no.41 on the current Men’s World Rankings, the third highest rated player on duty in the initial phase.
Li Ahmet, named at no.66 in the current global order, emerged successful in six games (9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8, 14-16, 11-9).
Won Twice Previously
“I’ve played Robert twice before, at the Slovenian Open in 2011 and at the German Open in 2013; on both occasions I was three-nil down and won, so that gave me a great deal of confidence for today’s match”, said Li Ahmet. “I knew his style of play, I was not afraid of his style, before I had won when I was behind; today the placement of my play was better than when we met three years ago.”
First Win for Bojan Tokic
Success against the odds for Li Ahmet, it was the same for Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic; named at no.74 on the Men’s World Rankings, he overcame Poland’s Wang Zengyi, listed at no.46 (7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7).
“I’ve had really tough draw here in Doha, in the previous round I had to play Lubomir Jancarik, he’s a difficult opponent”, said Bojan Tokic, who had overcome the Czech Republic player in four straight games (11-4, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9).
“Playing Wang Zengyi, I’ve never beaten him before; I’ve played him three times and I’ve lost every time”, stressed Bojan Tokic. “Receiving his services is so difficult, he is very clever with the changes he makes; you keep missing his service, you have big problems.”
Return First Attack
In Doha, Bojan Tokic did find solutions against the right handed penholder who excels at service and first forehand attack.
“It was a case today of praying that I returned the ball on the table from his service; then somehow get the first attack back and become involved in the rally”, concluded Bojan Tokic.
Saved Match Point
Success for Bojan Tokic against a right handed penholder; the round finished with success for Germany’s Benedikt Duda against a player of the same grip but a very different style.
He saved one match point in the deciding seventh game before overcoming Spain’s 53-year-old He Zhiwen (10-12, 9-11, 12-10, 15-13, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11).
“His services are so good, short and long; also when he attacks the ball comes slower than normal and with a very flat trajectory”, explained Benedikt Duda. “It was so difficult playing against him when he smashed the ball; I had to try to keep the ball short.”
Eventually, Benedikt Duda prevailed but he was on the very brink of farewell.
“In the seventh game when he had match point I was shaking but I was clear in my head of the tactics I needed to follow”, concluded Benedikt Duda.
More German Success
Success for Benedikt Duda and there was more success for Germany.
Ricardo Walther, listed at no.93 on the Men’s World Rankings, caused an upset by beating Hong Kong’s Jiang Tianyi, named at no.51 (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 7-11, 11-8); while rather more according to plan, Patrick Franziska ended the hopes of Russia’s Alexey Liventsov (12-10, 13-11, 11-8, 15-13).
Currently on the Men’s World Rankings, Patrick Franziska is at no.47, Alexey Liventsov at no.94.
Defeat for Robert Gardos and there was almost defeat for Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura, at no.19 on the World Rankings, the highest rated player on duty in the initial phase of affairs.
He was stretched to the very limit by Croatia’s Frane Kojic, eventually emerging successful by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (7-11, 11-13, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10).
Difficult times for Maharu Yoshimura, for Kenta Matsudaira, at no.28 on the current World Rankings, the fourth highest rated in the initial stage of proceedings, life was less testing; he recorded a straight games win against Italy’s Marco Rech Daldosso (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).
Meanwhile, for Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko, who one round earlier had beaten Yuya Oshima, like Kenta Matsudaira and listed at no.21 on the current Men’s World Rankings, it was the end of the road.
He was beaten by Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6).
Visit ITTF this weekend for results and more from the 2016 ITTF Qatar Open.
Tomorrow’s Schedule (March 25th)
- Singles Main Draw
- Men’s Singles
- Women’s Singles
- Doubles Main Draw
- Men’s Doubles
- Women’s Doubles
- U-21 Finals Begin Tomorrow, March 25th
- U-21 Men’s Singles
- U-21 Women’s Singles