by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
China, the top seeds, beat Austria, the no.7 seeds, a contest in which Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng and Wang Manyu entered the arena; for Austria Karoline Mischek replaced Liu Jia, thus making her second appearance of the tournament. Earlier she had beaten Yousra Helmy by the very narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9, 12-10) in the group stage contest against Egypt.
Sofia Polcanova and Amelie Solja, who had played against Germany in the previous round, were once again on duty.
Liu Shiwen gave China the ideal start by beating Sofia Polcanova (11-1, 11-8, 11-4), before Chen Meng accounted for the close to the table blocking style of Amelie Solja to double the lead (11-8, 11-8, 11-6).
“Amelie plays in a quite unusual way, I have seen similar styles on many occasions in China. She uses the long pimpled rubber but I was prepared, I knew what to expect.” Chen Meng
China leading by two games to nil, Wang Manyu concluded proceedings by beating Karoline Mischek, the close second game being the only opportunity when the Austrian had a sniff of causing an upset (11-1, 11-9, 11-5).
“I knew at 9-all in the second game that I had the advantage with my service. I knew she was not comfortable against my service, so I came through.” Wang Manyu
At the semi-final stage China now meets the winner of the contest between Hong Kong and Romania; the penultimate round contest is scheduled for 2.30pm on Friday 4th May.