by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Defeat for Zhang Jike but for the top four names in the Men’s Singles event, there was success; also from China Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin both recorded opening round wins as did the host nation’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll.
Fan Zhendong, the top seed, beat Germany’s Patrick Franziska (11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-2); Xu Xin, the no.2 seed, overcame Japan’s Yuya Oshima (11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).
Hard earned wins, it was the same from Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.3 seed, who accounted for Hungary’s Bence Majoros (11-7, 13-15, 11-5, 11-3, 12-10), as it was from Timo Boll, the no.4 seed, who defeated Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (4-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6).
A successful day for the top four seeds in the Men’s Singles event but that was not the scenario in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition where two rounds were completed.
Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed suffered an opening round defeat at the hands of China’s Feng Yalan (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4); a confidence boosting success, Feng Yalan maintained her form to record a second round success against Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem (13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-9).
Problems for the fourth seed in the Women’s Singles event but that was not the situation for the top three names as quarter-final places were reserved. China’s Zhu Yuling, the top seed, beat compatriot Liu Xi (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11); Chen Meng, the no.2 seed and also from China overcame Japan’s Hitomi Sato, the no.10 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10). Similarly, the latter’s colleague, Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed, progressed; she booked her last eight place courtesy of success against Korea’s Suh Hyowon (13-11, 1-5, 13-11, 15-17, 11-8).
Upsets, it was the same earlier in the day. At the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Doubles event, Japanese teenagers, Tomokazu Harimoto and Yuto Kizukuri beat China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the reigning World champions.
In a somewhat similar vein, at the same stage of the Women’s Doubles event the hitherto untried combination of China’s Gu Yuting and Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam accounted for Cheng Meng and Zhu Yuling, the reigning Asian Champions and runners up earlier in the year at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships.