by Simon Daish
Opening the day’s programme from 5.30pm (local time) is the Women’s Doubles final as two young Japanese partnerships meet in what should prove to be a highly exciting contest.
Hina Hayata and Mima Ito are searching for their second gold medal of the year following their successful outing at the 2018 German Open but at the final hurdle in Geelong they oppose the well-versed combination of Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, who have won a total of five ITTF Challenge Series titles together as a pair.
Champions last month at the 2018 Japan Open in Kitakyushu, Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu will also have the opportunity to collect Men’s Doubles silverware Down Under. Reaching the summit of the podium won’t be straightforward for the duo from Korea Republic with 2017 World Championships runners up and 2017 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals winners Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima of Japan providing the opposition.
The first singles tie of the day has all the making of an absolute classic as Liu Shiwen and Ding Ning go head-to-head for Women’s Singles glory.
Meeting in a singles final at an ITTF World Tour event for the first time since 2016, the title match in Geelong is shrouded in an air of unpredictability. Liu Shiwen already has a singles gold medal to her name in 2018 with her victory in Doha but could it be a first singles trophy of the year for Ding Ning?
Xu Xin will take to the table in the closing encounter of the tournament as he attempts to beat fellow Chinese competitor Liu Dingshuo to the Men’s Singles trophy at the Geelong Arena.
With just the one Men’s Singles gold medal to his name Liu Dingshuo heads into his encounter with second seed Xu Xin as the underdog but there have been plenty of upsets at this year’s edition of the Australian Open – can qualifier Liu Dingshuo add another big name to the list of shock exits on the final day of play?