by Ian Marshall, Editor
Status suggests the 18 year old Romanian was the favourite; he was the no.5 seed as opposed to his adversary who occupied the no.10 seeded position. However, Yu Heyi has proved this year that he is a player of high quality; he heads the ITTF World Junior Circuit Standings. Moreover in Bendigo he was in form; in the previous round he had beaten Kanak Jha of the United States, the top seed, in five games (6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9).
Defeat for Yu Heyi and there was also defeat for colleague Xu Yingbin; the no.16 seed, in the closest contest of the round, he was beaten by Japan’s Yukiya Uda by the very narrowest of decisions (9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9). Perhaps the fact that throughout the year Yukiya Uda has been exposed to life on the Seamaster ITTF World Tour and at ITTF Challenge Series tournaments was a vital factor in the success; notably in Belgium he was the Men’s Singles runner up.
Disappointments for China but there was success; in seven games, Xiang Peng, the no.8 seed, eventually overcame India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 14-16, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8); in an almost equally hard fought engagement, Xu Haidong, the no.3 seeds, ended the hopes of Japan’s Yuta Tanaka, the no.7 seed (9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7).
At the semi-final stage Cristian Pletea meets Xu Haidong, Yukiya Uda opposes Xiang Peng; play in Bendigo concludes on Sunday 9th December.