Timo of course suffered early at the hands of Korea's Jung Young Sik in a thrilling 7 set match, bringing an end to his campaign in the round of 32, a huge upset for Europe's champion. Seiya Kishikawa also bowed out of his title defense here to an incredibly on-form Alexander Shibaev, a player who succeeded in keeping the crowd entertained with some world class wins. He toppled Kishikawa in 5 sets.
|Mizutani clenches the title in Japan for 2012|
Young Sik continued to amaze in the next round, beating Tianyi Jiang also in 7 sets. Jiang had beaten Wang Hao in the recent China Open, so another fantastic win for the young Korean. Joo Se Hyuk showed no trouble in beating Lee Jung Woo, a player who he usually has some struggle with, a comfortable 4-1 win for the defensive legend. Shibaev continued his run with an astounding straight sets win over Koki Niwa posting 3 sets scores of 11-3 in the process! The round of 16 concluded with Michael Maze being handed a 4-0 hiding by the eventual champion Mizutani, Maze showed no real sign of his former brilliance in the match which was quite disappointing.
The quarterfinals brought an end to Jung Young Sik's run with Oh Sang Eun taking just 5 sets to defeat him. Gao Ning led a shock upset against Chuang Chih-Yuan, another top 10 player eliminated early. Joining him was Joo Se Hyuk, who fell at the hands of the young Russian Alexander Shibaev, just 4-1, certainly a match to watch out for. Mizutani just managed to survive the relentless onslaught thrown at him by Ryu Seung Min, just scraping an 11-8 win in the final set.
Gao Ning put up a small fight against Oh in the semifinal, with one set going all the way to 18-16, alas it was not to be and Oh Sang Eun advanced to the finals with a 4-0 win over the Singaporean player. Mizutani had much more of a struggle on his hands with Shibaev extending him all the way. Just 11-9 in the 7th set and Mizutani was able to breathe easy for a moment before advancing to the finals.
The final matchup between Oh Sang Eun and Jun Mizutani was a great game. It was 6 sets of world class table tennis with one absurd rally from Mizutani where he managed to lob the Korean off after a tomohawk smash to try and end the rally by Oh. Leading up to the Olympics it seems Mizutani is back on form, but what about Timo Boll?! All eyes will be on him in the final leadup to the Olympic Games to see if his medal hopes are still alive!
Mizutani beats Lee Sang Su 4-0