by Kabir Nagpal
Men’s Singles: Franziska hits Lin wall
After his compatriot lost out last night to Jun Mizutani, Germany’s Patrick Franziska met the same fate against Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju.
The no.4 seed was calm in his approach, having lost the first game but managed to turn the tables winning three games in a row and leaving Franziska to wonder what just happened. The 24 minutes up after the fourth game, “Fast5” came into play; for a moment it felt like the senior athlete from Europe might have another say in the match. Lin was having none of it, sealing the tie in the sixth game and assuring a spot for himself in the final four (10-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 1-5, 5-2).
Now, the defending champion awaits the winner of Mattias Falck and Jun Mizutani in the semi-finals, for what will be an intriuging battle for a spot on the podium.
Playing on a high after beating China’s Liang Jingkun, Korea Republic’s Jeoung Youngsik clearly wanted to put his best foot forward versus the top seed, Xu Xin. However, his short play on the day played directly into the hands of the Chinese superstar.
Winning 4-1 (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 5-2) Xu took no chances against Jeoung and stuck to his fast forehand playing fashion, taking the first two games with ease. Despite his best efforts – and winning the third game – Jeoung could not stop Xu, who needed only one “Fast5” game to secure a semi-final spot.
Women’s Singles: Mima and Manyu win
In the women’s draw, a double domestic was the order of the morning at the Our Tampines Hub, with China’s Wang Manyu and Chen Xingtong facing each other, Japan’s Mima Ito and Hitomi Sato in opposition.
In the Chinese battle, Wang used the “Fast5” format to her great benefit, winning the match against Chen 4-2 (7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 5-1, 5-0, 5-1). Chen seemed to be in complete control when the clock struck 24 minutes with a 2-1 lead in the match. Yet, it was not to be for Chen, as Wang launched a relentless run of forehand attacks at the table, to which Chen had no answer.
The 20 year old Wang now will face another one of her compatriots in Sun Yingsha or Ding Ning at the semi-final match tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mima Ito came out on top against Hitomi Sato in a powerful display of swift game-management as there was no need of a “Fast5” or even a fifth game in this one.
Ito won 4-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-9, 11-6) after she faced her second teammate from Japan, having seen off Kasumi Ishikawa in the previous round; her in superb form at the moment, either of world no.1 Chen Meng from China or Jeon Jihee from Korea Republic will be careful of what awaits either of them in the semi-final match tomorrow.