by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Chen Xingtong, the no.14 seed, playing in her first ever ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final, accounted for Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, the no.11 seed, a player somewhat different in style when comparted with most modern day players.
Pimpled rubber on both sides of the racket, as opposed to the favoured smooth reverse covering, close to the table, attacking quickly, she gave Chen Xingtong food for thought in the opening game.
Cheng Xingtong won the first game by the minimum two point margin, more relaxed, adapted to the technique of her adversary, she moved from strength to strength to record a straight games success (12-10, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2).
“I was prepared for the match and after having a hard first game I found my tempo and then played better and better”, Chen Xingtong after beating Yang Xiaoxin
It was the fourth time that Yang Xiaoxin had appeared in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final; it was the second time she had fallen in the penultimate round.
“It was very difficult I was under constant pressure; when I raised my game then she raised hers again and again”, Yang Xiaoxin after losing to Chen Xingtong
A comprehensive win for Chen Xingtong; for Wen Jia, the no.10 seed, confronting colleague Li Jiayi, a player who had been required to compete in the two day qualification tournament, it was a rather more exacting experience.
She required six games to secure victory (12-10, 11-7, 11-4, 14-16, 8-11, 11-3)
“I had a good strategy for the match but after three games she changed hers and I had to react and readjust. I played well, all in all happy to be in the final”, Wen Jia after overcoming Li Jiayi.
It was the first time that Li Jiayi had reached an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final; for Wen Jia, it was her fifth such appearance, her third success.
The final will be played on Sunday 22nd January.