by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the opening round they accounted for the combination of Romania’s Adina Diaconu and Russia’s Yana Noskova, the no.5 seeds (11-7, 11-5, 11-8) prior to ending the hopes of the partnership formed by Luxembourg’s Sarah de Nutte and Germany’s Wan Yuan, the no.3 seeds (11-6, 11-2, 11-13, 12-10).
Impressive from Huang Yu-Chiao and Lin Chai-Hui, it was the same from Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin; the no.6 seeds, in the opening round they beat Turkey’s Sibel Altinkaya who partnered Bulgaria’s Anelia Karova (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-5), prior to recording a quarter-final success in opposition to India’s Manika Batra and Mouma Das, the no.2 seeds and quarter-finalists earlier this year at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Surprise semi-finalists and there was one more pair who reached the penultimate round contrary to expectations.
Korea’s Lee Zion and Song Maeum, like Huang Yu-Chiao and Lin Chai-Hui having been required to compete in the qualification tournament, overcame Marharyta Baltushite and Daria Trigolos of Belarus, the no.7 seeds (11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6) in the opening round, prior to recording quarter-final success in opposition to Russia’s Maria Malanina and Polina Mikhailova, the no,4 seeds (11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9).
Unexpected semi-finalists but not involving the top seeds; Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato advanced in style. In the first round they beat Katsiaryna Baravok of Belarus and Poland’s Magdalena Sikorska (11-1, 11-3, 11-5), before at the quarter-final stage accounting for the host nation’s Margo Degraef and Lisa Lung, the no.8 seeds (11-6, 11-4, 11-9).
At the semi-final stage Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato meet Huang Yu-Chiao and Lin Chai-Hui; in the opposite half of the draw from Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin; confront Lee Zion and Song Maeum.