by Simon Daish
Chinese players gave the attending home fans plenty to shout about, after all six competitors moved into the Round of 16.
Zhou Yu, who is a three time World Tour finalist, came through an interesting battle with Yuya Oshima (Japan) in straight games.
The opening three ends didn’t provide too much to discuss besides Zhou’s brilliant play, but game four required 38 points to be decided producing an exciting finale to the match (11-3, 11-4, 11-9, 20-18).
Fang Bo awaits Zhou Yu in the last 16 in an all-Chinese tie; it was always going to be an uphill task for Kevin Soto (Guatemala) to get the better of Fang Bo, and the eventual outcome of 4-0 demonstrated Fang’s superiority in front of his home supporters.
The other three Chinese representatives Ma Long, Xu Xin and Zhang Jike are also into the next round following respective victories against Leong Chee Feng (Malaysia), Choong Javen (Malaysia) and Wenzhang Tao (USA).
“The opponent in the first round is not very strong, so I still have chances to adjust myself. I just plan to play match by match. Did not think too much about the final” – Ma Long (China).
Belarus’s Vladimir Samsonov will take on Kim Minseok (Korea Republic) after both players registered 4-0 wins.
Sixth seed Samsonov defeated Malaysian Haiqal Muhamad Ashraf (23rd), while Kim’s victory came against Chiang Hung-Chieh of Chinese Taipei. After the match, Chiang admitted that his downfall came from not taking his chances in the opening two ends against Kim Minseok:
“This was the first time that we played against each other” said Chiang Hung-Chieh. “In the first two games, I truly had some chances to win but did not grab them. So I was more nervous in the third and fourth games. I have to admit that he performed much better than me today.”
Yuto Muramatsu (Japan) and Kim Donghyun (Korea Republic) were involved in a grueling seven game encounter, which featured a comeback victory.
Kim was flying high after winning three out of the opening four ends in the tie, but Muramatsu put in an inspired performance to take three games in a row and subsequently seal the match (7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4)
Friday 16th September: Men’s Singles – Main Draw