by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, there was a surprise in store for Australia; Jian Fang Lay was beaten in her opening contest by Charlotte Carey (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 15-13).
Wales ahead but the advantage was short-lived. Melissa Tapper, after some tense moments in the opening game secured victory against Chloe Thomas (11-8, 11-4, 11-3)
“I’d never played her before, I knew she’d been to China to practise but I didn’t really know what to expect. I needed some time to work out the best way the play against her. After the first game I became more confident and understood how I needed to play.” Melissa Tapper
Matters level, Miao Miao entered the arena and duly partnered Jian Fang Lay to doubles success against Anna Hursey and Chloe Thomas (11-8, 11-2, 11-2).
Now trailing, Charlotte Carey gave one hundred per cent for the cause in her efforts to gain for her team parity. It was to be in vain, she was beaten in five games by Miao Miao (11-5, 4-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-3), the third game being crucial. Charlotte Carey led 10-3, then lost the next eight points, saved one game point but could not save a second.
“Charlotte played quite well. She was not used to Jian’s game at the start but quickly adapted. I’m very surprised in myself. I remember a long time ago I played her and she was a tough player. I’m not comfortable with her game at all. The crowd was fantastic. I very much appreciate them supporting us, I think without them we wouldn’t have made it today.” Miao Miao
At the semi-final stage, Singapore, the top seeds, await. In the round of the last eight, they accounted for Guyana by three matches to nil.
Yu Mengyu beat Tracey Lowe (11-8, 11-2, 11-3), to be followed by Lin Ye who accounted for Natalie Cummings (11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5), before Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan combined to win the doubles in opposition to Priscilla Greaves and Natalie Cummgs (11-2, 11-4, 11-2)
The remaining quarter-final fixtures, England versus Canada and India in opposition to Malaysia will be played on Saturday 7th April commencing at 9.30 am.