Jeoung tops Gionis in instant classic

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jul 26, 2021

There was a point in Game 5 when Jeoung Youngsik (KOR) was behind 10-3 to Panagiotis Gionis (GRE) and needed to save straight seven match points to avoid elimination.

If he was intimidated, he didn't show it.

Jeoung booked his place in the men's table tennis singles Round of 16 in Tuesday's early session, but it wasn't without drama. After falling behind three games to one to his veteran opponent, the Korean needed seven straight points in the fifth game just to prevent Gionis from making light work of him. Not only did he save all seven match points, he also won the next two to win the game and push the Round 3 tie to a Game 6 that seemed like an impossibility just minutes prior.

The 10-seed carried that momentum into Game 6, winning eight of the first nine points and cruising to an 11-5 win that sent the match to a Game 7. And when Gionis started stronger and won four of the first five points in the decisive final game, Jeoung again needed to come from behind to win.

He took seven of the next nine, saved two Gionis match points, and won it in thrilling fashion by a 14-12 score.

In what will certainly be described as one of the matches of the tournament, the Round 3 match had everything: two contrasting styles, a miraculous comeback, and a Game 7 that had everyone - including the match commentator - on the edges of their seats.

While Gionis' tournament is done, Youngsik advances to the men's singles Round of 16 where he will face off against Timo Boll (GER).