…It’s into the semis for teenager Lin Yun-Ju, who will face off with Timo Boll, 20 years his senior, for a place in the final. Lin scored an easy four game quarter-final victory over Japan’s Yuki Hirano (11-1, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7) but is likely to have more competition from the Boll, who had more of a workout in his comeback defeat of Korea’s Lee Sangsu 4-3 (6-11, 9-11, 15-13, 12-14, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8).
…Dimitrij Ovtcharov defeated surging compatriot Patrick Franziska in the match of the day. Franziska, who has emerged from the shadows cast by Ovtcharov and Timo Boll to become a world class player, nevertheless folded under pressure from the 30-year-old legend (11-6, 13-11, 11-7, 12-10). Ovtcharov will see Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, who beat Alexander Shibaev 4-1 (11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-1, 11-4) in Sunday’s semi.
…Chen Xingtong and Feng Yalan will play each other in the semi-final after Chen defeated Austria’s Sofia Polcanova 4-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8) and Feng outlasted Jeon Jihee of Korea 4-2 (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11).
…Meanwhile, Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hirano negotiated their way past Chinese challengers He Zhuojia and Liu Weishan, respectively. Hirano pulled off an incredible comeback win, recovering from an early 0-3 deficit to scrape past Liu 3-2 (8-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4). Ishikawa, meanwhile, won soundly 4-1 (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9).
…Hunting for their first title as a pair after having come close twice, Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito were stopped by against Korean youth wave Cho Daeseong and Shin Yubin in a hard-fought 3-2 thriller (6-11, 15-13, 12-10, 16-18, 12-10). Given the rapidity of the first game, the Japanese might have been lulled into a false sense of security but Cho and Shin were still just warming up. By the fourth game it was evident that the Koreans posed a tangible threat.
It’s a special moment for Shin, who at 14 becomes the youngest mixed doubles winner at an ITTF World Tour event. (Cho, at 16, also makes the shortlist of really young players to have this level of success on the ITTF World Tour) Good news for Korea as well, as its young talent begins making a global impact.
…Korea’s Cho Daeseong and Lee Sangsu scored their first ITTF World Tour victory as a pair (for 16 year old Cho’s first ever) by defeating Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting and Lin Yun-Ju 3-1 (11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6) for the championship.
…Gu Yuting and Mu Zi, who were in the preliminary draw in Olomouc, went all the way to the title, beating Japan’s Miu Hirano and Saki Shibata 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6) for the big prize in women’s doubles.