by Simon Daish
The day begins with the last 16 of the men’s singles tournament and we’ve got some absolute cracking matches on the way.
At 10.00am local time Fan Zhendong will face his toughest challenger so far in Budapest as fellow compatriot Liang Jingkun awaits on table 1. The latter player was on the winning side of this head-to-head at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open – could the top seed be in danger of an early exit?
Another tie featuring two major contenders sees Hugo Calderano meet defending champion Ma Long on table 1 at approximately 12.00pm. Calderano is attempting to become the first Latin American to reach the last eight of a singles event in World Championships history so expect to see extra determination from the Brazilian.
Enjoying a fine campaign thus far Miu Hirano is just one win away from a medal finish in the women’s singles draw, but she has an uphill task ahead of her as she prepares to do battle with the “Queen of Hearts” Ding Ning at 4.00pm on table 1. Identified as a potential threat to China’s dominance – is this Hirano’s time to shine?
One hour later we have the exciting prospect of seeing two of China’s finest young players meeting face-to-face as Sun Yingsha, 18, and Wang Manyu, 20, take to table 2. In their relatively short careers at senior level Sun and Wang have established an intriguing rivalry and with a medal up for grabs both players will be desperate for the victory. Expect nothing short of a classic when these two meet at 5.00pm.
From 6.00pm you can join the men’s doubles race where Portuguese qualifiers Tiago Apolonia and Joao Monteiro have the opportunity to reach the penultimate round if they can find a way past Germany’s Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska on table 2. The fourth and fifth seeded women’s doubles partnerships are scheduled for table 1 at 7.00pm as China’s Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng take on Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching in a fiery encounter.
Rounding off the day’s action at 8.00pm are two mixed doubles semi-finals: on table 1 we have a jaw-dropping match between China’s biggest stars as Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning face off against Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen while over on table 2 defending champions Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan welcome Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja.
Be sure to watch the action unfold live with itTV and follow the live blog throughout the course of the day for all the latest from Budapest.