by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
It was for the English trio quite a prodigious task, since making a debut in the ITTF World Team Cup in Linz in 2009, Singapore has always finished in second or third place, Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu have been ever present.
Against England they were the backbone of Singaporean success. They joined forces to secure the doubles beating Kelly Sibley and Maria Tsaptsinos (11-4, 11-2, 11-8) before in the third match of the contest Yu Mengyu overcame Kelly Sibley (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9) after England had levelled matters thanks to the efforts of Tin-Tin Ho. In the second match of the fixture she beat Zhang Wanling (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4).
“Today was crucial, in order to reach the quarter-finals we had to win; yesterday I was down after I lost my matches against Hong Kong. Today I stayed calm and the team gave me a great deal of encouragement.” Yu Mengyu
Singapore ahead, the win recorded by Yu Mengyu vital; Feng Tianwei brought matters to a conclusion. She accounted for Tin-Tin Ho in three straight games (11-9, 11-3, 11-5).
“I’m pleased with my performance today but over the years the team has changed, we used to have other team members who were from China, like Li Jiawei and Wang Yugue, but now we have younger player, so you must not only do your best you must support them.” Feng Tianwei
Success for Tin-Tin Ho in defeat, it was the same for Dina Meshref. She beat Amy Wang (12-10, 11-1, 11-4) after Farah Abdel-Aziz and Yousra Helmy had experienced defeat at the hands of Wu Yue and Lily Zhang (11-6, 11-8, 11-3).
“After we lost to Japan in the first group match, we were determined to win against United States and we had the chance to do that. Unfortunately we lost to miss out from advancing to the next round. We did our best in the tournament and we are satisfied with our performance. Generally, I think we need to work hard on the doubles both in men’s and women’s events, the doubles event is key to the team. We will go back and start working on this event in order to help in major competition like this.” Dina Meshref
Matters level, the United States assumed control; Wu Yue proved too consistent for Yousra Helmy (11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8), as did Amy Wang when facing Farah Abdel-Aziz (11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5).
Thus at the conclusion of the group stage, Japan and the United States progressed to the main draw ahead of Egypt; for England it was third place behind Hong Kong and Singapore.
The quarter-final fixtures commence at 5.00pm (local time) later in the day.