by Simon Daish
Thunderous Display, Chinese Partnership Reaches Final
Ma Long and Xu Xin continue to look a formidable force in the Men’s Doubles event after the Chinese duo came through their semi-finals encounter against Chen Chien-An and Chuang Chih-Yuan in straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-3). In the final the Chinese pairing will face Korean opposition with Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu beating No.3 seeds Tomokazu Harimoto and Masataka Morizono (11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3) in the penultimate round.
Korea Republic will also be represented in the Women’s Doubles final following an impressive outing from Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun; the third seeded combination accounted for Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching in the lower half of the semi-finals draw (11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 11-6) to set up a title showdown with top seeds Hina Hayata and Mima Ito.
Chinese Qualifiers Exit Title Race
There was just the one Women’s Singles round to be played out on day two of the tournament with all four quarter-finals fixtures very much going according to seeding.
Named as the fifth seeded player for the competition, Cheng I-Ching’s victory over qualifier Sun Yingsha (3-11, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8) may not appear to be that great of a deal. Bear in mind though this is the very same young Chinese star who has claimed major scalps against the likes of Chen Meng and Liu Shiwen within the past 12 months, making success taste that little bit sweeter for the Chinese Taipei representative.
Another unseeded Chinese contestant to fall in the last eight was Wu Yang with the 2016 German Open champion losing out to Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa across six games (14-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7). Suh Hyowon and Feng Tianwei were the two players to progress from the other quarter-finals encounters with wins against Yang Haeun (11-6, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 4-11, 4-11, 11-7) and Jeon Jihee (12-10, 11-9, 11-3, 11-4).
Highs And Lows For German Fans
Patrick Franziska’s dream run in Bremen continued on the second day of main draw action with the German competitor earning two notable results: prevailing in his opening fixture of the day against ninth seed Marcos Freitas (11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 13-11, 11-5) the host nation’s Patrick Franziska followed it up with a superb victory over Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson (11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7) to reach the last four of the Men’s Singles category.
The other German involved in a quarter-finals battle was Timo Boll, who faced Ma Long in a mouth-watering tie. In the previous meeting between the two players Timo Boll came out on top at the semi-finals stage of the Liebherr 2017 ITTF Men’s World Cup, but there was to be no repeat success for the second seed in Bremen as Ma Long broke German hearts (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 17-15). Ruwen Filus, also of Germany, exited to Kristian Karlsson earlier in the day.
Stunning in the Round of 16 where he saw off Japan’s Koki Niwa across five ends (11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9), but Mattias Karlsson’s campaign concluded one round later as Hong Kong’s Wong Chun Ting moved through to the penultimate stage of the competition (12-10, 13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9). Frenchman Simon Gauzy also bid his farewells in the last eight, departing at the hands of No.3 seed Xu Xin (10-12, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-3, 11-7).