by Simon Daish
Xu Xin met Tomokazu Harimoto in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles competition at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships which was held in the Germany city of Düsseldorf where the Chinese pen-hold master tamed the Japanese teenage star with a strong display across five games.
Now the two players will do battle once again but will the outcome be reversed in Stockholm?
Another Japanese competitor who has impressed from a young age is Kenta Matsudaira, who will also be involved in second round action in the Men’s Singles category as the winner of the 2006 World Junior Championships takes on Jonathan Groth following the Dane’s sensational performance against ninth seed Lee Sangsu in round one.
The upper half of the draw hosts two all-China encounters, one of which sees no.4 seed Lin Gaoyuan go head-to-head with qualifier Liu Dingshuo while the other tie will be contested by Zhou Yu and Yan An.
There was a close shave for Cheng I-Ching on day one of the Women’s Singles main draw in Sweden as the Chinese Taipei contestant required great determination in her comeback victory against Li Jiayi
Facing another Chinese opponent in round two Cheng I-Ching, seeded seventh, attempts to negotiate a tough match against qualifier Gu Yuting, who achieved a silver medal finish at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Hybiome Austrian Open in September and could be a potential title challenger in Sweden.
Singapore’s Yu Mengyu began her Swedish Open campaign in the three-day qualification tournament but now finds herself competing in the Round of 16.
Miyu Kato opposes Yu Mengyu in round two and could earn valuable ITTF World Tour standings points ahead of the upcoming Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals if the result goes her way.
The Women’s Singles event will also feature two quarter-finals fixtures in the top half of the draw while both doubles tournaments will reduce the number of partnerships down to the final two pairings in the lead up to the final which is scheduled for Sunday 19th November.