by Simon Daish
Qualifier remains in title hunt
Lin Gaoyuan will make his debut in an ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles final, after the player, who was forced to negotiate the qualification tournament ahead of the Seamaster 2017 Austria Open, came through both of his fixtures on the third day of the main competition.
Starting off the day with a positive result against the second seed Koki Niwa, Lin Gaoyuan went on to claim another victory against a seeded player with a strong display against Simon Gauzy (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5) in the semi-finals.
However, surely the standout fixture of the day came in the upper half of the Men’s Singles semi-finals draw as the no.7 seed Yan An took on one of the main title contenders Fang Bo for a place in the final.
Fang Bo entered the last four off the back of three consecutive deciding game victories, and the third seed was involved in another seven games encounter in the semi-finals but this time it was not to be for Fang Bo as fellow countryman Yan An pulled off a terrific comeback effort (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6) to come out on top.
Qualifier breaking new ground
Gu Yuting is through to the Women’s Singles final of an ITTF World Tour Platinum event for the first time in her career, following another positive day out in Linz for the unseeded competitor.
Victory over Japan’s Hina Hayata in the last eight (11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7) put Gu Yuting into the semi-finals of the competition where she recovered to beat fellow Chinese compatriot Gu Ruochen across six games (8-11, 11-2, 13-15, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10) booking her spot in the title match.
Awaiting Gu Yuting in the final is another Chinese representative after the sixth seed Wang Manyu came through her two encounters on Day Three of the tournament.
Wang Manyu began the day with a stunning win in the quarter-finals against the top seeded player Chen Meng (11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9) before registering her second success of the day in her penultimate round match against Sun Yingsha (7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5) to guarantee the gold medal for China.