by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the former, Bence Majoros, the no.14 seed, caused a major upset by beating the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, the top seed, in three straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-8); in the latter Orsolya Feher was equally impressive. The no.25 seed, she ended the hopes of England’s Tin-Tin Ho, the no.15 seed (11-8, 11-7, 13-11).
“I was prepared for this match; my coach Peter Aranyosi had the game plan spot on, constant changes and playing with control. I made hardly any unforced errors.” Bence Majoros
“I would like to say thank you to my coaches first of all. I am really happy as this is my first time in an Under 21 ITTF World Tour semi-final; I fought as hard as I could and listened to all instructions I was given from the bench.” Orsolya Feher
Surprise outcomes and at the quarter-final stage, the two Hungarians were not alone in upsetting the order of merit.
Sweden’s Truls Moregard, the no.19 seed, matched Bence Majoros in the major upset stakes. He recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, the no.2 seed (10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
“The hardest part was to handle his serves and first attack. I needed to make some changes in the way I served from two-nil down; in the end I played a bit safer and smarter which made the difference in the outcome.” Truls Moregard
He now meets Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, also a player who produced a last eight upset. The no.11 seed, he ended the aspirations of Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam, the no.4 seed (9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7).
“In the first game I made too many unforced errors but as the match went on I could adapt to his play. I changed the pace of the play and played with more top spin; I tried to be dominant all the way through.” Lin Yun-Ju
Three surprises, for Bence Majoros, the player who awaits is the one contestant who progressed as expected; Frenchman Joe Seyfried, the no.3 seed, accounted for Poland’s Patryk Zatowka (11-8, 11-9, 11-3) to reserve his last four berth.
“I was prepared for this match. I knew service and receive plus the placement of the first ball would be really important. I think I executed my plan well.” Joe Seyfried
Similarly, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event; in addition to Orsolya Feher, China’s Chen Ke upset the pecking order. The no.12 seed, she overcame Russia’s Mariia Tailakova, the no.7 seed (11-5, 11-8, 11-8).
“I was able to control the match from start to finish, each point I played well.” Chen Ke
Chen Ke now meets Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the top seed, in the penultimate round; likewise, Orsolya Feher faces a Hong Kong opponent, she confronts Mak Tze Wing, the no.2 seed.
In the round of the last eight, Minnie Soo Wai Yam beat Romania’s Adina Diaconu, the no.5 seed (5-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9); Mak Tze Wing ended the progress of Poland’s Natalia Bajor, the no.10 seed (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 12-10).
“I found her serves really challenging. I took time to get the right response to them. The turning point was the close third game. Winning that game gave me confidence. I was positive in important situations.” Minnie Soo Wai Yam
“The start of the match was difficult. I had never played her before. She blocked really well. I had to be aggressive and positive; I am glad to be in the semi-final.” Mak Tze Wing
Both the Under 21 Men´s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played to a conclusion on Wednesday 17th January.