by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The opening match of the fixture set the tone of the engagement; Cristian Pletea beat Sharon Alguetti by the minimal two point margin in the deciding fifth game (12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10).
Immediately the United States levelled with Kanak Jha ovecoming Rares Sipos, before once again the balance of the contest tipped in favour of Romania. Dragos Florin Oprea overcame Adar Alguetti (6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).
Once again the United States levelled as Kanak Jha proved the thorn in the side of Romania, he beat Cristian Pletea by the minimal two point margin in the fifth game, after the Romanian had held match point on two occasions (8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 14-12).
Matters level, enter Rares Sipos and Sharon Alguetti; the verdict went in favour of the former but five games were needed to decide the outcome (11-3, 10-12, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7).
“I was not very confident before the last match, at two-two it does not matter who you are playing against. I think it’s at least 90 per cent mental. Also was difficult playing after Christian had held two match points against Kanak Jha and had lost. Sharon never gives up, he fights. Winning the fourth game was crucial; then I made a good start in the fifth game, ahead 4-1 but Sharon never gives up.” Rares Sipos
At the semi-final stage China awaits; they beat Germany by three matches to nil. Xue Fei accounted for Tobias Hippler (11-2, 11-6, 11-7); Wang Chuqin accounted for Herrit Engemann (11-2, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5), whilst to end matters Xu Haidong defeated Cedric Meissner (11-3, 11-5, 11-8).
The fixture is scheduled for later in the evening at 8.00pm.