Pride restored, Ovidiu Ionescu upholds national honour

Winner of the Under 21 Men’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour in 2009 in Kuwait, when he beat Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali in the final but since that date no such accolades to his name; regarded somewhat of a dangerous player, one of whom to be aware, at the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event in Alicante he proved, he is a most dangerous player.

Occupying the no.25 seeded spot, now 29 years old, he beat Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the no.9 seed in a seven games duel determined by the very minimal two point margin in the deciding game (11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 15-13, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9). Moreover, Vladimir Samsonov was in form, notably one round earlier, he had ended the hopes of Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.2 seed (9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5).

Success for Ovidiu Ionescu against the odds, at the same time, Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson upset the seeding; the no.8 seed, he beat Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed, the runner up in 2015 in Ekaterinburg (11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 6-11, 11-8).

Wins contrary to expectations, in the two remaining quarter-final Men’s Singles contests that had taken place earlier in the evening, the outcomes were as status advised; Germany being in the ascendancy.

Timo Boll, the top seed, set the example, he beat Austria’s Daniel Habesohn, the no.13 seed, in four straight games (11-3, 11-4, 11-4, 11-9); similarly, impressive, in one game more Patrick Franziska, the no.5 seed, overcame colleague Benedikt Duda, the no.18 seed (11-7, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9).

The wins recorded by Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska mean that Germany is guaranteed a place in the final; the two meet in the penultimate round. In the opposite half of the draw Kristian Karlsson faces Ovidiu Ionescu.

Play in Alicante concludes on Sunday 23rd September.

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