by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The previous day Xue Fei had lost some six match points in his epic Men’s Singles qualification tournament confrontation against England’s Liam Pitchford. He lost in dramatic circumstances (7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 20-18, 12-10). Conversely, Lin Yun-Ju had caused one of the biggest upsets of the day; he had beaten Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, the highest rated player in the qualification competition (11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 5-11, 13-11).
Occupying the no.7 seeded position in the competition, Xue Fei saved four match points in a row in the vital fifth game against Frenchman Joe Seyfried (7-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10) to steal victory; Lin Yun-Ju, the no.5 seed, with divine hand skills, accounted for Korea’s Lim Jonghoon, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-3, 15-13).
Upsets in the lower half of the draw, not in the top half; Yuto Kizukuri, the top seed, emerged successful in the all Japanese duel; he accounted for Yuki Matsuyama, the no.6 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8). Success for Yuto Matsuyama after losing the opening game; it was the same for Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam; eventually he overcame Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8).
“In the opening game I didn’t receive service well; my backhand was strong today.” Ng Pak Nam
Surprises according to status, it was the same in the counterpart Under 21 Women’s Singles competition. Both were caused by China, Wang Yidi, the no.10 seed, beat Korea’s Shin Yubin, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-6, 11-4); Zhang Rui, the no.5 seed, accounted for Japan’s Saki Shibata, the no.2 seed (11-5, 11-7, 11-9).
Meanwhile, just as in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, the counterpart contests advanced as predicted. China’s Chen Ke, the no.4 seed, overcame colleague Sun Mingyang, the no.7 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5); Korea’s Choi Hyojoo, the no.8 seed, ended the hopes of Japan’s Hitomi Sato, the no.16 seed (11-7, 11-8, 11-6).
At the semi-final stage Wang Yidi meets Chen Ke, Choi Hyojoo opposes Zhang Rui.