by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Georgina Pota, the no.5 seed, beat Sweden’s Li Fen, the no.9 seed. She won a hard fought contest in six games (11-3, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10).
“I am happy I could win this match. I played much better today than yesterday. She is a very difficult opponent to beat because she receives my serves over the table with high quality backspin and it’s hard to open the point. Thank you for all the supporters who came to watch”, Georgina Pota after her win against Li Fen
The win was as status predicted; however, the success achieved by Tetyana Bilenko was contrary to expectations.
Defensive play as stout and as reliable as ever, the no.13 seed, she gave the performance of the round; she beat Singapore’s Zhou Yihan, the no.4 seed and on duty recently for Sichuan in the 2016 Chinese Women’s Super League, in four straight games (11-6, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2).
Certainly, it was an excited Tetyana Bilenko after the win; so excited that when interviewed she had forgotten that at the GAC Group 2015 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open, she reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event, losing narrowly in seven games to Korea’s Yang Haeun.
“Best day of my life so far, I love this venue. I think it suites me a lot; it’s good for defence and attack. I knew the match could be 50:50. I did not expect it to be four-nil. I have never reached the quarter-finals before now I did it”, Tetyana Bilenko after overcoming Zhou Yihan
Defeat for one player who competed in the 2016 Chinese Women’s Super League, for two more, there were successes as the second round of proceedings came to a close.
Wen Jia who had represented Shandong Jilu and occupied the no.10 seeded position in the draw, beat Chinese national team colleague, Sheng Dandan (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5); Li Jiayi like Sheng Dandan a qualifier and on duty in the Chinese Super League, she played for Ordos, overcame Russia’s Maria Dolgikh.
“We know each other and in this match I played really well today, I was focused and had good feeling for the ball”, Wen Jia after beating Sheng Dandan.
Furthermore, the aspiring Chinese stars could meet in the semi-final or could it be two Europeans?
In the penultimate round, Wen Jia confronts Tetyana Bilenko, Li Jiayi opposes Georgina Pota.
The quarter-final and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 21st January.