By Neha Aggarwal
Semi Final #2: Xu Xin vs Wong Chun Ting
Third October 2016 is undoubtedly going to be a troublesome day for Xu Xin. Unpleasant thoughts of the horrifying quarter final loss against Wong Chun Ting in the 2016 SheSays China Open will probably come flashing by every minute. Winning over a player from China is treated as a historical day considering their infallible supremacy. Wong Chun Ting has done it once and he is now offered a chance to make it happen again.
After his win over Xu Xin in China, Wong Chun Ting had said, ” I’m happy, I’m so excited. I have never taken more than one game off Xu Xin in the past so I’m excited. Xu Xin today was not playing at his real level, in the last two games Xu Xin made more mistake than me.” Little did he know that 15 days later, he will be given the opportunity to repeat his victory again. Today, he modestly claimed:
“Against Xu Xin I will try my best because in our previous meetings he has defeated me six times and I have only beaten him once. It is going to be difficult but I will try my best tomorrow.”
If Wong Chun Ting can keep the pressure to perform again aside, he has the capacity to end the match in his favor. The world number seven should keep all the stats away and just focus on the task ahead.
Because Xu Xin and his coaches are probably the most tensed than ever. The Chinese are not meant to loose, and when faced in a situation where they are threatened, they will do everything possible to emerge victorious. Xu Xin sailed smoothly to the semi finals and showed negligible signs of nervousness on the table until now. He looks confident and determined because he needs to prove himself, all over again. But against Wong Chun Ting, the pressure is all on him because of his recent loss.
What to expect?
It is the battle of the two pen holders. The chances look similar as both the players are fierce attackers and are in great shape. For this game, its mind over matter.
Watch LIVE on ITTF.com/ittv at 11:45am local time and 9:45 am GMT.
Semi Final #1: Fan Zhendong vs Kristian Karlsson
Both the players have met only once in the past in a world ranking event, at the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championship where Fan Zhendong thrashed Kristian Karlsson three games to zero. However, on 3rd October 2016, the situation is totally a different one.
Fan Zhendong, who had no troubles in reaching the semi finals is playing fantastically well as he is waiting to win his first major world title. He is strong with his forehand attacks and moving around the table as swiftly as possible. The 19-year old world number two is brimming with confidence.
But the real test will be for Kristian Karlsson. Having the most successful journey in this tournament so far, beating Ovtcharov Dimitrij in the round of 16 and Simon Gauzy in the quarter finals, he is on a winning spree. Continuing the same on the final day of the tournament is both a challenge and an opportunity.
The challenge exists because on records, Fan Zhendong is undoubtedly a better player. Thus, Karlsson must find the right strategy and tactics, have the best energy level and a fearless mindset to beat the versatile Fan Zhendong. The opportunity is all in his hand because he has nothing to loose and if he is able to take calculative risks, he can do the impossible.
What to expect?
Despite Karlsson’s threatening success in the last two days, Fan Zhendong should not be intimidated and will be ready for the battle. The odds are in his favor and Karlsson will have to be better than the best to do the inconceivable.
Watch LIVE on ITTF.com/ittv at 11:00am local time and 9:00 am GMT.