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Singapore Smash 2023: 16 year-old Izaac Quek upsets Swedish World Number 36 Mattias Falck

Singapore rising star saves two match points to book Round of 16 berth against World Number 3 Wang Chuqin

Izaac Quek jubilant after winning a point in his match against Achanta. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS

Singapore, 14 March 2023 - Singapore table tennis player Izaac Quek continued his sensational run at the ongoing Singapore Smash with a second main draw win in the men's singles, coming from behind and saving two match points to upset world No. 36 Mattias Falck (SWE) 3-2 (6-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-10).

The 16-year-old Singaporean, ranked 242nd in the world, showed incredible grit and nerves of steel in the Infinity Arena, fighting his way to victory after staring defeat in the face just moments earlier. He next faces world No. 3 Wang Chuqin (CHN) on Wednesday evening (15 March) at the Singapore Sports Hub's OCBC Arena.

16 year-old Izaac Quek came from 2-0 down to book a last 16 berth. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS

Speaking after his fantastic come-from-behind win, the Singapore paddler said: "Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. But all I can say is, I'm very happy. The experience out there with such a big crowd and everybody supporting me – I'd like to thank everyone. I definitely heard them during the match and that's what brought me the win today."

He added: "When I was 2-0 down, all I was telling myself was to think about the skills — not about winning or losing and just give it my all. I had nothing to lose even when I was 2-0 down and even when things were not going my way, I didn't give up and I tried to think of more strategies to win."

Izaac Quek returns a shot in the match against Swedish paddler Mattias Falck. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS

"(My earliest memory of Mattias was) definitely the time he reached the finals of World Championships. I remember fondly that I was watching on my television. I was really excited to see a European player reach the finals of World Championships and I look up to him. Winning against Mattias is such a good experience. That is already a very good achievement but winning on home ground is different. Everyone was supporting me and after my win, I could hear a lot of shouting. Even when I was losing, they were supporting me. I would like to thank again everybody who came down today and I hope that in future matches, there will also be a crowd there cheering for me."

"Winning two games in this event is a very good goal I’ve achieved so I’ll just give it my all (from here). Wang Chuqin is of course one of the strongest players in the world. I definitely have a lot to learn from him, so I'll just try my best."

Izaac Quek shaking hands with Mattias Falck post match. PHOTO: WORLD TABLE TENNIS

It has indeed been a tournament of upsets so far at Singapore Smash 2023, as defending champion and world No. 2 Chen Meng (CHN) lost to world No. 42 Elizabeta Samara (ROU), while Chen's loss also came after her compatriot Wang Yidi, the women's world No. 3, suffered defeat at the hands of Miu Hirano (JPN).

In the evening session, Singapore's Izaac Quek continued his remarkable run to reach the Round of 16 – the 16-year-old world No. 242 came from behind to triumph over 36th-ranked Mattias Falck at the Infinity Arena. He faces men's world No. 3 Wang Chuqin in the Round of 16 on Wednesday (15 March). The upsets continued with world No. 22 Qian Tianyi (CHN) beating world No. 5 Mima Ito (JPN) in the women's singles.

#SportPlusSG #TableTennis #SingaporeSmash2023

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