by Simon Daish
Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling have met twice on this year’s ITTF World Tour at the Platinum events held in Australia and Germany.
With the head-to-head standing at one win apiece both players will compete against one another once again in Astana in what is anticipated to be a closely fought out contest. The reward for the winner is a semi-finals encounter with either Mima Ito or Chen Xingtong.
Up in the top half of the draw there is another exciting fixture to watch closely as Chen Meng faces Gu Yuting for a spot in the final.
The previous meeting between the two ended in Chen Meng’s favour, but Gu Yuting heads into the tie with plenty of confidence following impressive victories over Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa across the opening two rounds of the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
One match you won’t want to miss comes from the Men’s Singles draw as China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Fang Bo go head-to-head in an eye-catching quarter-finals match.
On paper Lin Gaoyuan enters the duel as the slight favourite, but Fang Bo definitely has the potential to upset the seeding list and will be keen avenge the defeat he suffered to his fellow compatriot at the Marvellous 12 event held in March.
Tomokazu Harimoto also returns to action on day three in Astana where he will have the opportunity to spoil Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s party celebrations when he takes on the incoming World no.1 in the other last eight fixture while the lower half of the draw sees Timo Boll do battle with Fan Zhendong in the penultimate round.