by Simon Daish
Ma Long and Xu Xin are set to meet in what is anticipated to be a thrilling semi-finals clash, as the first and third seeded players battle it out for a spot in the Men’s Singles final.
While a good result is vital for Ma Long’s ambitions to defend his World Championships title, the tie also carries huge importance for Xu Xin who is attempting to reach the Men’s Singles final for the first time in his career.
The top ranked male player in the world and Olympic champion Ma Long does enter the match with the odds in his favour, but Xu Xin has shown that he has exactly what it takes to win this fixture having claimed victories over Ma Long at both the Laox 2016 ITTF World Tour Japan Open and the 2016 ITTF World Tour Korea Open.
Xu Xin also demonstrated experience and great determination in his amazing comeback triumph over Lin Gaoyuan in the quarter-finals, two traits commonly associated with World champion material.
17th seed Lee Sangsu will look to claim another upset victory in Düsseldorf, as he prepares to take on the second seed Fan Zhendong in the other semi-finals encounter.
China’s Fan Zhendong has never lost to the Korea Republic competitor and prevailed in their recent meeting at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships, but Lee Sangsu has been in tremendous form at the World Championships and will enter the match brimming with confidence.
Will Lee Sangsu register another shock victory in the Men’s Singles event, or will Fan Zhendong set a new milestone by reaching the final for the first time?
The Women’s Doubles competition will also resume from the semi-finals stage on Day Eight, as the four remaining partnerships fight it out in an attempt to claim the trophy.
Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu are appearing in the penultimate round of the competition for the third consecutive World Championships, but a tricky tie awaits the 11th seeds in the last four against Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling of China.
Third seeds Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling have proven to be a formidable pairing having won four times as a partnership on the ITTF World Tour. However, the superb talents of Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu could potentially produce a surprise outcome so you will want to follow this tie closely.
The other semi-final also promises to entertain as the mighty Chinese combination of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen face the ever impressive Japanese pairing of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito.
Ding Ning has finished in the Women’s Doubles runners-up position at the World Championships on three occasions, but believe it or not she has never lifted the trophy and she will be hoping that her partnership with Liu Shiwen, who won the title with Zhu Yuling at Suzhou 2015, will enable her to finally set that record straight.
However, the teenage duo of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito are a force to be reckoned with and will look to use their explosive pace to topple the fourth seeds.
Get ready for the final day of action from Düsseldorf, it is building up to be an absolute treat!