by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Required to compete in the qualification tournament, the 20 year old continued her quite remarkable progress.
Facing colleagues at both the quarter-final and semi-final stages, she rose to the challenge; she beat Chen Meng, the no.3 seed (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4), before ousting Zhu Yuling, the no.2 seed (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6), the player who earlier this month ascended to top spot on the Women’s World Rankings.
Notably Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling are both former Women’s Singles champions at the ITTF World Tour Swedish Open; Chen Meng won in 2013, Zhu Yuling one year later.
In the final, Ding Ning, the top seed, awaits. She reserved her place in the title deciding contest courtesy of success in opposition to Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.4 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
Success for Ding Ning and Chen Xingtong, it means that a new Swedish Open Women’s Singles winner will be crowned; it is the first time either has event competed in the event.
Meanwhile, for Fan Zhendong it is very different, he won in 2014 and 2015, notably in the latter beating Xu Xin in the final, the player who this year awaits in the final.
At the quarter-final stage on the penultimate day of action in Stockholm, Fan Zhendong ousted qualifiers, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna (11-6, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5) and colleague Zhou Yu (6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 12-10).
In the opposite half of the draw, Xu Xin ended the adventures of Denmark’s Jonathan Groth (7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9), like Quadri Aruna and Zhou Yu a qualifier, prior to beating Fang Bo, the no.7 seed (11-9, 12-14, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-1).
The programme for the concluding day, Sunday 19th November, commences at 2.00pm with the Women’s Doubles final, followed by the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles and Men’s Singles finals.