by Simon Daish
An excellent qualification campaign and a superb victory against Brazil’s Hugo Calderano in the opening round of the Men’s Singles main draw, Liam Pitchford is set for another cracking fixture on day two.
Awaiting the qualifier from England is eighth seed Koki Niwa who has already lost to English opposition early this year at the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup – will Liam Pitchford cause similar problems for the Japanese star in Shenzhen?
Lim Jonghoon achieved a mighty upset on the opening day of main draw action in Shenzhen, eliminating No.3 seed and home favourite Xu Xin at the first hurdle. Now the player from Korea Republic waits to see which one of Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson or Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan will turn out to be his next opponent: the latter player held the upper hand when the two met at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships and will be keen to replicate that outcome once again.
Elsewhere, Ma Long will look to get his campaign off to a promising start when he takes on Lin Yun-Ju and make sure to keep an eye out for Zhang Jike’s mouth-watering encounter with Tomokazu Harimoto.
On day one we saw the top half of the Women’s Singles draw play out opening round fixtures. On day two we will witness the conclusion of the Round of 32 with matches in the lower half of the draw.
If you’re looking for unpredictability then why not feast your eyes upon the opening round contest between Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching and Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun? Or how about a head-to-head duel between two young talents, China’s Sun Yingsha and Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto? Be sure to catch the remaining Round of 32 ties from 1.00pm onwards.
Defending champion Ding Ning will face Chinese opposition for the second successive match when she takes to the table against Miu Hirano’s conqueror Gu Yuting at 6.00pm (local time) in the Round of 16 while top seed Zhu Yuling does battle with up-and-coming Japanese star Saki Shibata at the summit of the draw. Day two will conclude with two quarter-finals contests, both of which will be played out at 9.20pm.
Day two will also host semi-finals action from the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles events at 10.00am and the penultimate round of the Mixed Doubles competition at 11.20am.