by Simon Daish
Yang Shuo was the player to take the headlines in the quarter-finals stage of the Boys’ Singles tournament after the Chinese contestant ousted the sixth seed An Jaehyun from the competition with an impressive display.
Entering the tie seeded 17 places below An Jaehyun for the event, Yang Shuo was expected to face an uphill challenge in the battle for a spot in the last four and the opening two games of the tie suggested that the crowd were set for a closely fought encounter as Yang took games one and two in deuce to edge into a 2-0 lead.
Soon the lead grew to 3-0 in Yang Shuo’s favour and just when the match looked set to heat up with An Jaehyun securing back-to-back games, Yang went on to power past An in game six to complete a 4-2 victory (14-12, 13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 9-11, 11-1).
“I think I performed well today. I was lucky in the first two games, I had a few edge balls and net balls… In between the games, Coach Liu told me to stay firm in the match. An’s advantage lies in the fact that he’s more experienced in playing international tournaments, in terms of skills I think I’m still better, especially during rallies where I have a higher chance of winning” – Yang Shuo (China).
Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto won in seven ends for the second match in a row, as the top seed held off a brave effort from France’s Alexandre Cassin in the quarter-finals.
Cassin made the stronger start of the two players establishing a 1-2 advantage by the conclusion of the third game, but determined not to suffer a shock early exit Harimoto kept up the fight and the 13-year-old came back to beat his French rival by a 4-3 scoreline (9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8) to bring the tie to a close.
The other semi-final will be contested by Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam and Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin after both players safely negotiated their last eight fixtures.
Ng Pak Nam overcame Huang Chien-Tu of Chinese Taipei without dropping a game (11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6), while Cho Seungmin brought Tobias Hippler’s terrific run to an halt with a win in six ends (7-11, 11-1, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10).
The Boys’ Singles tournament will resume on Wednesday 6th December, with the semi-finals and the final still to be played.