by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
It was yet another impressive performance by the 20 year old who is increasingly laying claim to a place in the Chinese national team at the forthcoming Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad.
“I wanted to win it too quickly, some games started a bit more difficult than I thought they would be; I am taking every match point by point and getting better round by round.” Chen Xingtong
“I was a bit too nervous at the start. I made many mistakes. Next time I will approach the match with more confidence and compete better against her.” Doo Hoi Kem
Success for Chen Xingtong and there were also wins for her colleagues, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu.
Chen Meng, the top seed, accounted for colleague He Zhuojia, but was tested. She needed six games to secure victory (11-8, 10-12, 11-2, 4-11, 11-3, 11-2). He Zhuojia has yet to make a major impact at senior level, having in 2012 won the Girls’ Singles title at the ITTF World Cadet Challenge in Guam; the player she beat on that occasion in the final, a certain Chen Xingtong.
“I am really confident right now. I played the match point by point; I played against my team mate, of course we know each other really well so in such circumstances the game was a bit more open .” Chen Meng
Impressive from Chen Meng, it was even more impressive from Wang Manyu, the no.6 seed; she showed no charity whatsoever, she beat Romanian qualifier Bernadette Szocs in four straight games (11-3, 11-1, 11-8, 11-9).
“I think my opponent started a bit too nervously and that gave me enough time to find my own tempo and speed.” Wang Manyu
“This is my first time to play against her. I need to watch this match again to come up with better tactics. Unfortunately, by the time a I had the feel for her game was a bit too late.” Bernadette Szocs
Success for Wang Manyu as status advised; it was the same for Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.8 seed, she ended the hopes of her doubles partner, Canada’s Zhang Mo, the no.13 seed (11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4, 13-11).
“The last time I played her was in 2017 and I lost. I knew I needed a very good start today; that was crucial. Winning the first two games was vital; then I could focus on my game. I am very happy right now.” Sofia Polcanova
At the quarter-final stage Chen Meng meets Wang Manyu, Sofia Polcanova faces Chen Xingtong; the matches are scheduled to be played on Saturday 20th January commencing at 10.00am (local time).