by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Chen Meng, the top seed, beat Wang Yidi (12-10, 11-8, 18-16, 11-6) the extra experience counting against a player who was runner up in the Girls’ Singles event at the 2015 World Junior Championships in La Roche-sur-Yon but as yet to establish herself on the senior scene.
“I was surprised we were playing tonight, I wasn’t really prepared; I’m not used to playing so late at night.” Chen Meng
Success for Chen Meng, on the adjacent table it was success for Wang Manyu, the no.5 seed, she accounted for Sun Yingsha (5-11, 11-4, 11, 11-5, 11-2).
“I’m feeling good, I believe I can win the tournament; I’m playing well, anything is possible.” Wang Manyu
The outcome means that the final of one year ago will be enacted in the penultimate round; in 2017 Chen Meng beat Wang Manyu to secure the top prize.
Success for Wang Manyu at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event; in partnership with Chen Ke, there was success in the penultimate round of the Women’s Doubles competition but it was hard fought. The duo beat Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the top seeds but they came perilously close to defeat.
In the decisive fifth game they saved match point at 9-10 and 10-11 before securing victory (11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 13-11). Now, in the final they meet colleagues Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha, the no.4 seed. In the penultimate round, they overcame Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching, the no.2 seeds (7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11).
“Sun Yingsha did not play that well in the first two games, I don’t think she was really focused, not as stable as usual. However, in the third and fourth games it was totally different, she carried us through.” Chen Xingtong
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Doubles event, in the final China’s Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, meet Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Yuya Oshima.
At the semi-final stage Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the no.2 seeds, beat Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seeds (11-4, 11-8, 11-7); Jun Mizutani and Yuya Oshima received a walk-over against China’s Fang Bo and Lin Gaoyuan, illness preventing Fang Bo from competing.
The finals of both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events will be played on Sunday 11th March.