by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Against the odds, Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the top seeds and reigning World champions (6-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 14-12).
They now meet colleagues, Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura in the final; the penultimate round winners in opposition to Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson and Jon Persson (11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).
A dramatic win, the absence of Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin was drama of a different kind; Japan’s Yuya Oshima and Tomokazu Harimoto alongside Korea’s Kim Donghyun all received walk-overs.
The effect is that Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll, alongside Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting and Japan’s Koki Niwa are the leading names to progress to the Men’s Singles quarter-final round.
In the top half of the draw Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.5 seed, beat Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the no.15 seed (9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10); Wong Chun Ting, the no.6 seed, accounted for Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira, the no.11 seed (11-6, 16-14, 11-8, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, Timo Boll, the no.7 seed, overcame Egyptian qualifier Omar Assar (7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4, 7-11, 11-3); Koki Niwa, the no.8 seed, ended the progress of colleague, Yuto Muramatsu, the no.16 seed (11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6).
At the quarter-final stage Yuya Oshima meets Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Wong Chun Ting opposes Masaki Yoshida; in the opposite half of the draw Tomokazu Harimoto confronts Koki Niwa, Timo Boll plays Kim Donghyun.
Drama for the men, quite the opposite for their female counterparts, the top four seeds all booked last eight places in some style; China’s Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling, the respective top three seeds, all advanced without due alarm, for Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.4 seed, progress was more exacting.
Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen both beat Japanese opponents. Ding Ning accounted Mima Ito, the no.9 seed (11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6), Liu Shiwen overcame Hina Hayata, the no.13 seed (9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-2, 12-10). Not to be upstaged, Zhu Yuling defeated Korea’s Jeon Jihee, the no.14 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
Relatively comfortable wins, not for Feng Tianwei against colleague, Zeng Jian, the no.15 seed; she needed the full seven games to ensure success (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7).
Success for three Chinese names and for two more both at Japanese expense; Chen Meng, the no.5 seed, overcame Hitomi Sato, the no.16 seed (11-9, 11-4, 13-11, 11-8), Sun Yingsha, the winner the previous week in Tokyo, defeated Sakura Mori (11-4, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10).
In the round of the last eight Ding Ning meets Miu Hirano, Chen Meng opposes Zhu Yuling; in the opposite half of the draw Feng Tianwei plays Sun Yingsha, Kasumi Ishikawa meets Liu Shiwen.
Women’s Singles title hopes alive for China in the Women’s Doubles guaranteed; Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen meet Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling in the final.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of both the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events will be played on Saturday 24th June; the finals of the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles competitions on Sunday 25th June.