The big number of unexpected results made this ITTF Open (held in Incheon, South Korea) an extraordinary sports event and did not only delight the public but also the players.
The young Tibhar player Tristan Flore from France realised non-stop thunderbolts. The currently world ranking number 100 had to struggle through a hard first qualification round where he created the first surprise by winning over China’s top talent, Lin Gaoyuan 4:3.
He had to cope with a big challenge in the second round of the qualifications, as his adversary was not less than the Olympic game participant from Egypt, Omar Assar.
The North-African player had to call defeat on a non-appealing score of 1:4 against the French player.
Tristan proved once more that he was in great form by beating the table tennis legend from Germany, Timo Boll and the Portuguese Marcos Freitas, both top 15 players of the world-ranking list. These victories opened him a direct path into the quarterfinals of this super series tournament.
Another big surprise came as Tristan took the advantage with 3:2 against the reigning World Champion and current world-ranking number 1, Ma Long. Despite this advantage, Flore lost his match.
Another Tibhar star, Chen Chien-An (Taiwan) who had been on sick call for a long period also, created sensation at this open.
The former world ranking number 17 had to deliver a hard battle to get through the qualifications. In the first main round, his adversary was the Olympic Champion Zhang Jike from China. After seven hard sets and an incredible match, the Taiwanese won through on a score of 15:13 in the decisive set.
After a clear victory of 4:0 in the second round against the South Korean Park Ganghyeon, Chen’s adversary in the quarterfinals was not less than his double partner and long-lasting friend, Chuang Chih Yuan. In the seventh set of this breathtaking game, Chen reaches the semi-finals on a decisive score of 11:8.
Ma Long, his adversary in the semi-finals, has barely lost one game in the last years. The player of the Empire of the Middle was in great form and gave Chen Chien-An no chance to turn the match to his advantage. Chen is defeated 0:4, although the set results were tight.