LIEBHERR 2019 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tuesday 23rd April
An Jaehyun the man in form
Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun was very much the name to note as play commenced in the main draw of the men’s singles event at the Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest on Tuesday 23rd April.
Required to qualify, the 19 year old caused the biggest upset of the day by recording an opening round win against Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting, the no.14 seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9), prior to continuing his good form to oust Sweden’s Truls Moregard (3-11, 11-2, 11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).
Otherwise, it was success for the leading names, as third round places were booked, the Chinese trio of Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin and Lin Gaoyuan alongside Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto were very much in control as the negotiated the second round.
Fan Zhendong beat Portugal’s João Monteiro (11-6, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8), Xu Xin accounted for Stefan Fegerl (11-3, 11-3, 11-7, 11-1), Similarly, Lin Gaoyuan overcame Slovenia’s Bojan Tokic (11-8, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7), Tomokazu Harimoto ended the hopes of Sweden’s Jon Persson (11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 11-5)
Success for four notable names and there was success for the most notable of all; defending champion China’s Ma Long duly booked his place in the third round; he beat Kanak Jha of the United States in five games (8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 14-12, 11-6)
“I had never played against him before but I watched his match footage and I had practised with him. He is a strong player with a unique style. I came here fully prepared. I was 3-0 ahead in the first game but later I made some unforced errors which gave him a chance. After the first game, I played better,” said Ma Long
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles event, the respective top four seeds, China’s Ding Ning, Chen Meng, Wang Manyu and Liu Shiwen all emerged successful in their second round encounters in most convincing manners.
Ding Ning beat Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte (11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-4), Chen Meng overcame Singapore’s Lin Ye (11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8). Likewise, Wang Manyu accounted for the Czech Republic’s Karin Adamkova (11-6, 11-1, 11-9, 11-5); Liu Shiwen ended the hopes of Hana Matelova, also from the Czech Republic (11-2, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4).
A major upset in the men’s singles event, in the men’s doubles there was an even greater surprise. Runners up two years ago in Düsseldorf and the top seeds in Budapest, Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima experienced a shock defeat at the hands of the French pairing form by Tristan Flore and Emmanuel Lebesson, the no.22 seeds. They were beaten by the very narrowest of margins in a full distance seven games encounter (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9).
Otherwise, it was success for the leading pairs. Facing potentially difficult opponents, Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the no.2 seeds, responded. They beat Iranian brothers Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan in four straight games (12-10, 11-9, 11-5, 11-2,
Similarly there was success for Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.3 seeds, as there was for Sweden’s Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, the no.4 seeds. Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu beat Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and Felipe Olivares (12-10, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4); Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson overcame Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh Shao Feng (11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9).
Somewhat differently in the women’s doubles competition, there were no surprises amongst the leading names.
Major contenders for honours, Japan’s Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, overcame the combination of Spain’s Maria Xiao and Zhang Mo, the no.21 seeds (11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4). Similarly, colleagues Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.3 seeds, emerged successful in opposition to India’s Manika Batra and Archana Girish Kamath, the no.19 seeds (11-3, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4).
Equally, China’s Sun Yingsha and Wang Manyu, the no.2 seeds, displayed their class. They accounted for Egypt’s Farah Abdel-Aziz and Reem El-Eraky, the no.22 seeds and reigning African champions (11-4, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6). Not to be overshadowed, Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling, the no.4 seeds, ended the hopes of Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Ni Xia Lian, the no.18 seeds (11-3, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5).
Surprises must note, not where China was concerned; they are on course.