by Simon Daish
The Women’s and Men’s Doubles competitions are now in full swing, as both categories prepare to enter the semi-final stages.
Lee Yearam and Kim Haeun are one of the pairs through to day four’s action, cruising to a straight games victory over Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching.
While all three ends finished with fairly close scorelines, Lee and Kim looked in complete control throughout the tie and it wasn’t long before the Korean duo sealed their spot in the next round (11-7, 11-8, 11-9).
Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling are next up for Lee Yearam and Kim Haeun, after the Chinese pairing came from behind to eliminate Hina Hayata and Yui Hamamoto (both Japan).
Hayata and Hamamoto made a very strong start to the match taking the opening end and a potential upset looked on the cards, but three games later and it was disappointment rather than jubilation for the Japanese players as Chen and Zhu progressed (8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-2).
The top half of the draw will see China’s Ding Ning and her partner Liu Shiwen face off against Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng Hsien-Tzu of Chinese Taipei for a place in Sunday’s final.
Both pairs picked up 3-0 wins in their quarter-final encounters with Ding and Liu beating Hsiung Nai-I and Huang Yi-Hua (both Chinese Taipei), and Chen and Cheng fending off the challenge from Shan Xiaona (Germany) and Jiang Huajun (Hong Kong).
“I think we performed normally in the first match. We did not get much time to train after Rio (Olympic Games). But as we attend this tour, we have to do our best. Table tennis becomes more popular in China now and the atmosphere in the venue is really high. I hope we can make more people experience the charm of table tennis” – Liu Shiwen (China).
Japan is down to one Doubles pair at the China Open, with Koki Niwa and Yuya Oshima left carrying the hopes of a nation.
Niwa and Oshima put three games past the USA’s Wally Green and Wenzhang Tao in the last eight (11-8, 11-5, 11-6), and will play China’s Ma Long and Zheng Jike in the semi-finals.
Ma Long and Zhang Jike saw off Korea Republic’s Kim Donghyun and Kim Minseok; it wasn’t a completely one-sided encounter as the Korean pair managed to level the playing field at one game apiece, however, Ma and Zhang’s progress was never in doubt (11-5, 7-11, 11-3, 11-6) and they will fancy their chances of making the final.
The other Chinese pairing of Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin are through to the semi-finals despite the fact that they are yet to play a match in the Men’s Doubles event.
This comes following the unfortunate news that Tiago Apolonia and Andrej Gacina withdrew from the competition due to injury concerns, leaving fans disappointed and missing out on a potentially exciting duel.
Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit of Hong Kong make the cut, even though they lost the first game against Malaysia’s Choong Javen and Leong Chee Feng.
Being forced to recover from 0-1 down, Wong Chun Ting and Ho Kwan Kit found their rhythm across the following three games to take the win (10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5).
“Fans are shouting crazy which more or less will affect me during the match. I did not get to form quickly at the beginning but later I found it back.” Wong Chun Ting (Hong Kong).
Friday 16th September: Women’s Doubles – Main Draw
Friday 16th September: Men’s Doubles – Main Draw