by Simon Daish
Two rounds of Men’s Singles action will take place on the penultimate day of play, starting at the quarter-finals stage of the competition.
Seeded three positions lower than his opponent in the last eight Wong Chun Ting has been presented with a difficult path to the semi-finals with China’s Lin Gaoyuan standing in his way. Meeting the Hong Kong player at 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships, Lin Gaoyuan came out on top across four games but will the fortunes be reversed when the duo go head-to-head in Doha?
The winner of that match will face either Tomokazu Harimoto or Hugo Calderano in the last four; with both of the previous encounters between the two going in Tomokazu Harimoto’s favour the Japanese ace surely holds the advantage, but Hugo Calderano’s shock win against Timo Boll in the Round of 16 will give the Brazilian a significant confidence boost heading into the tie.
Denmark’s Jonathan Groth began his campaign in the qualification stages and now has a formidable task ahead of him as top seed Fan Zhendong awaits in the quarter-finals while Xu Xin takes on fellow Chinese competitor Zhou Yu.
Two quarter-finals fixtures remain in the Women’s Singles draw including an exciting all-Japanese encounter featuring Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano.
This is just the third time that the two players have met in a Women’s Singles contest on the ITTF World Tour with Kasumi Ishikawa prevailing in 2015 at the Bulgaria Open and at the 2017 Korea Open in Incheon. Looking to send a statement to her rivals across the globe, can Miu Hirano come out on top against her compatriot at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena?
The other tie in the lower half of the last eight draw sees Liu Shiwen do battle with the impressive defensive skills of Japan’s Hitomi Sato. Just the one match is scheduled in the top half of the draw on day three as Chen Meng and Wang Manyu meet in an eye-catching semi-finals encounter; it was the latter player who prevailed at the Seamaster 2018 Hungarian Open, but Chen Meng will be keen to avenge that defeat in Qatar.