by Simon Daish
China’s Zhu Yuling meets Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem in the first of two Women’s Singles quarter-finals with the action getting underway from 11.00am local time.
Occupying the no.1 seeded position compared to her opponent’s seeding of no.13, Zhu Yuling will be expecting to have enough to in her locker to see off Doo Hoi Kem. However, in their two previous head-to-head encounters the full match distance has been required – will we see another close contest between the two in Linz?
The winner will go on to face one of Liu Shiwen or Chen Meng in the penultimate round. One of the greatest players to have emerged from China but you could argue that Liu Shiwen isn’t the favourite to advance from her quarter-final match, having lost to Chen Meng on five consecutive occasions since her last win against her colleague back in 2013. Both players always produce table tennis of the highest quality so this will be a battle you won’t want to miss!
In the opposite side of the draw the line-up for the semi-final has already been determined with Wang Manyu and He Zhuojia meeting in an all-China affair. Required to compete in the qualification tournament leading up to the main event, He Zhuojia has performed exceptionally well to reach the last four in Linz but can she work her magic again on Day Three and bring sixth seed Wang Manyu’s hopes of defending her title to an end?
China meets Japan in the two remaining Men’s Singles quarter-final encounters, both of which are shaping up to be exciting prospects.
Eyeing up the chance to reach the final hurdle of an ITTF World Tour event for the second week in succession but top seed Fan Zhendong will be cautious of Koki Niwa, a player who has shown that he can mix it with the very best having beaten the likes of Zhang Jike and Xu Xin in the past. Qualifier Liang Jingkun awaits the winner.
Liam Pitchford stunned spectators on the evening of Day Two and now the question to be answered is who will face the Englishman in the semi-finals? Fighting for that opportunity is second seed Xu Xin and eighth seed Tomokazu Harimoto – in each of their previous three encounters on the international stage to date the win has ended up in Xu Xin’s corner but Tomokazu Harimoto continues to grow from strength to strength and will be confident of his chances this time around.
Day Three will also see the first title contest of the tournament as Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching face China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen for the Mixed Doubles crown.