by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The top seed, she beat colleague and qualifier Zhang Qiang, a pen-hold grip player of the modern style using both sides of the racket, in six games (7-11, 11-9, 14-12, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6).
“I’m winning but I’m not entirely happy with the way that I’m playing. I’ve been able to control the matches but I’m not one hundred per cent. The hall is quite small and today I’ve been playing against team mates; the ball appears to be travelling very quickly.” Ding Ning
Success for Ding Ning and in the one further quarter-final duel completed on the evening of the second day of play, there was success for Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed; she accounted for Gu Yuting, the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist and like Ding Ning from China but not seeded in Stockholm.
A tense duel, Kasumi Ishikawa prevailed in seven games (12-10, 12-10, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6), a contest which as the players changed ends in the seventh game appeared to be ebbing from her grasp. She trailed 3-5 before winning the next six points to lead 9-5; the next point was secured by Gu Yuting but remaining calm, not rushing prepared to become involved in rallies, the next two points went in her favour.
“In the previous round I was 2-5 down against Li Xiaodan in the seventh game and won, so I knew when we changed ends I still had a good chance. Before the match started I thought I had a really good chance to win; Gu Yuting is more powerful than me but I think I am faster. Hard matches, I think I was mentally good today, the psychological aspect was the crucial factor.” Kasumi Ishikawa.
Ding Ning and Kasumi Ishikawa now meet in the semi-final, the match is scheduled for 6.00pm (local time) on Saturday 18th November.