by Ian Marshall, ITTF Editor
Both former World Junior champions, Zhu Yuling in 2010 in Bratislava and 2012 in Hyderabad, Chen Meng in the intervening year in Manama when she completed a clean sweep of titles; both are now seasoned competitors as opposed to aspiring young players seeking to step into illustrious shoes.
In Daejeon; that fact was underlined, the sheer consistency level displayed, as with their colleagues, was one step ahead of the rest of the field. Furthermore, if crisis looms, the technique is so solid that under the greatest pressure the fluency remains.
Undoubtedly, Cheng I-Ching is one of the major challengers to Chinese excellence but against Chen Meng finding answers, as in previous encounters, was fraught with difficulty. They have now met nine times in world ranking events, Chen Meng has won all nine.
Throughout Chen Meng held the aces, it was the same for Zhu Yuling when confronting the defensive skills of Suh Hyonwon.
The outcome was as in the previous five meeting on the international scene; they had met on the ITTF World Tour in Japan in 2010 and in 2015, as well as in the Asian Games in 2014 and the Asian Championships in both 2017 in Wuxi and two years earlier in Pattaya. On all five occasions, as in Daejeon, the verdict had finished in favour of Zhu Yuling.
“I am very happy to have won my match. The atmosphere was really good and the fans were very enthusiastic. I want to thank them for coming out to watch the competition. Suh is one of the best defenders in the game and I have played with her on several occasion. Her mental strength on court is very strong. I actually like being here in Korea and hope to be able to play more in Korea.” Zhu Yuling
At the semi-final stage Chen Meng meets colleague Liu Shiwen, the only previous Women’s Singles winner remaining in the tournament; in 2012 in Incheon she beat compatriot Ding Ning to claim the title. In the opposite half of the draw, Zhu Yuling opposes Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa.
Both matches are scheduled for the later in the evening.