by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
All three pairs required a deciding fifth game to keep their title hopes alive.
Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds, survived but only just; they overcame Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu in a cliff-hanger (5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 5-11, 13-11). The Singaporeans were not seeded but last year they were bronze medallists at the Liebherr 2016 World Championships; it was a victory of note.
Equally, for China’s Chen Ke and Wang Manyu it was success by the very narrowest of decisions; the no.8 seeds, they halted the aspirations of Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.3 seeds (11-6, 14-16, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10).
“We were not so good in some of the small details, maybe we did not adapt that well but at the end we co-ordinated well and we succeeded. Overall, I think we were the better in the area of serving and in rallies but not when we were receiving service.” Chen Ke
A close call for Chen Ke and Wang Manyu, it was the same for Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, the no.4 seeds and also from China. They were severely tested by Japan’s Miu Hirano and Mima Ito, the no.5 seeds (11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato meet Chen Ke and Wang Manyu; in the opposite half of the draw Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha oppses Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching.
The matches are scheduled for 7.00pm (local time) on Friday 9th March.