France’s Simon Gauzy beat South Korea’s Lee Sang-su for the second time in the space of seven days to book his place in the round of 16 at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Hong Kong Open.
Gauzy came through an epic battle to triumph 11-5, 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 win over the sixth seed on day one of the ITTF World Tour event at Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
It marked a repeat of his round-of-32 victory over Lee at last week’s ITTF China Open in Shenzhen.
Awaiting him in the next round is China’s Wang Chuqin, who defeated 11th seed Lim Jong-hoon of South Korea 11-2, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-7.
Among the other seeded players to crash out of the men’s singles draw today was 10th-ranked Englishman Liam Pitchford after he fell to a 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 8-11 loss against China’s Ma Te.
Next up for Ma is top-seeded compatriot Lin Gaoyuan, who survived a scare to overcome Germany’s Ricardo Walther 8-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-5, 11-6, 12-10.
Second seed Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan also had to come from two games behind to beat Sweden’s Jon Persson 7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10, 14-12, 11-5.
🇫🇷 Simon Gauzy digging deep to record an incredible 4-3 victory. You could say the match 🏓 PING PONG-ed with each player taking the lead at different stages!— ITTF World (@ittfworld) June 6, 2019
Bring on day 2 already❗️#ITTFWorldTour #2019HongKongOpen 🇭🇰 pic.twitter.com/9R5UdAElq6
The most notable casualty from the last 32 of the women's singles draw was 10th seed Chen Xingtong after she lost 9-11, 11-13, 6-11, 14-16 against fellow Chinese Feng Yalan.
There was also elimination for 11th seed Jeon Ji-hee of South Korea and 15th seed Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong against Chinese opposition.
Jeon was beaten 5-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11 by Sun Mingyang, while Lee was defeated 5-11, 3-11, 10-12, 6-11 by Wang Yidi.
Wang's reward is a meeting with top-seeded Japanese Kasumi Ishikawa, an 11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 winner over Canada's Zhang Mo.
Sun, meanwhile, will face second seed Mima Ito, also of Japan, following her comfortable 11-5, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 victory at the expense of Singapore's Yu Mengyu.
Action in Hong Kong is due to continue tomorrow with the round-of-16 ties.
The finals are scheduled for Sunday (June 9).