by Simon Daish
Men’s Doubles favourites fall short
The top two seeded partnerships in the Men’s Doubles competition were condemned to semi-final exits on day two.
Gold medal winners at two World Tour events this year but top seeds Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu were shown the door by fellow Koreans Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon (11-9, 8-11, 15-13, 11-9) while 2015 and 2017 Grand Finals champions Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima experienced defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting (11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4).
European champion falls at first hurdle
Regarded as one of the sport’s all-time legends but Germany’s Timo Boll suffered an opening round exit from the Men’s Singles competition in Incheon, falling to the in form Liang Jingkun of China.
Making his Grand Finals debut Liang Jingkun looked simply unbeatable in the Round of 16, eliminating the 2018 European Championships gold medallist by a commanding 4-0 margin (11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11).
Host nation dreams dashed
Responsible for one of the iconic moments of the 2018 season with his historic triple crown achievement at the 2018 Korea Open, but Jang Woojin’s Grand Finals Men’s Singles campaign has ended in defeat.
The no.5 seed from Korea Republic gave it his all in front of the home crowd but couldn’t find a way past the player seeded directly above him Tomokazu Harimoto (12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).
With Suh Hyowon exiting the Women’s Singles draw earlier in the day, the host nation’s singles dreams officially drew to a close on day two.
Top draw performances lead Ding Ning to world rankings summit
Ding Ning has returned to the World no.1 position in the women’s world rankings list for the first time in over a year following a strong day at the office for the “Queen of Hearts.”
Starting with a solid outing against Saki Shibata (11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5), Ding Ning pulled off another convincing result later in the day against Cheng I-Ching (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-1) to reach the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles category.
Top seed Xu Xin departs!
Following in the footsteps of the Women’s Singles event which saw Wang Manyu exit at the quarter-finals stage, rather astonishingly the top seed of the Men’s Singles draw also bid his farewells on day two.
Two-time Grand Finals champion but Xu Xin won’t be adding a third to his collection in 2018, losing out to fellow Chinese competitor Lin Gaoyuan in a fantastic six games duel (11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 11-13, 11-2, 11-9) to send the latter player through to the semi-finals for the second successive year.
Missed any of the action? You can find all of the day’s results HERE.