by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
One reverse but for Singapore it was predominantly good news, both victorious pairs ended the hopes of the host nation.
Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu, the top seeds, set the standard; they beat Yan Xin and Jian Fang Lay (11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-3).
“It was hard for me when I had to receive from Yan Xin, he’s not that powerful but he puts a lot of spin on the ball. In the fifth game Gao Ning was very good. He did not make any mistakes and he kept encouraging me. He gave me confidence.” Yu Mengyu
Success for Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu; following suit Pang Xue Jie and Zhou Yihan accounted for Heming Hu and Melissa Tapper in a contest that ebbed and flowed, eventually being decided by the very narrowest of decisions (11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9).
“It was important in the fifth game not to make unforced errors; I had to change the way I returned service, if I returned with top spin by using the banana return he came in with a powerful forehand top spin; so I changed, pushed the return of service hard with backspin.” Pang Xue Jie.
Progress and in addition to Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu, there was also progress for the other leading pairs; India notably enjoying success.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra, the no.2 seeds, beat Canada’s Marko Medjugorac and Alicia Côté (11-8, 11-13, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4); Sharath Kamal Achanta and Mouma Das overcame England’s David McBeath and Kelly Sibley (11-5, 11-9, 11-9).
Disappointment for England but there was success; Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho, the no.4 seeds and silver medallists in Glasgow, beat Australia’s Trent Carter and Tracey Feng (11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9).
“In the second game I was receiving from Trent, I rushed I made some mistakes.” Tin-Tin Ho
“We lost the second game, Trent was taking some chances, they played well but for us it was a case of playing with good quality, keeping the ball on the table.” Liam Pitchford
The quarter-finals of the Mixed Doubles event will be played on Friday 13th April.