by Simon Daish
Sun Chia-Hung began the day with a strong showing against Dimitrij Prokopcov of the Czech Republic, and the Chinese Taipei contestant was rewarded with a quarter-finals fixture where he would take on another Czech opponent, Tomas Polansky.
Neither Sun Chia-Hung nor Tomas Polansky were seeded for the Men’s Singles tournament in Minsk but both players put in wonderful performances in their last eight encounter, with a spot in the penultimate round up for grabs.
However, there could only be one victor and Sun Chia-Hung managed to edge his way to a seventh game triumph and subsequently book his place in the semi-finals alongside the top seed Vladimir Samsonov, who came through his quarter-finals tie against Ukraine’s Viktor Yefimov (11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7).
“Leading 2-0 in games, I surrendered the initiative to my opponent. At 2-2 came anxiety. I’m not in my best form now, so not everything went as planned. Even in the final game, with 7-2 in my favour, I wasn’t sure that I would win. I’m happy that tomorrow I’ll compete with such a powerful and known athlete as Vladimir Samsonov”, Sun Chia-Hung.
Over in the lower half of the draw Wang Zengyi and Grigory Vlasov won their respective encounters to move through to the last four.
Third seed Wang Zengyi came out on top against Daniel Gorak in an all-Polish battle (4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 12-10), while Russia’s Grigory Vlasov eliminated fellow countryman Andrei Baibuldin in the other semi-final match (11-6, 16-14, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10).
Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV