by Simon Daish
Men’s Singles: Xu stays unbeaten and the battle of the Lin’s
One of the few players he is yet to topple on the international stage, Tomokazu Harimoto’s wait for a first victory over Xu Xin goes on with the Chinese pen-hold star once again coming out on top in another head-to-head meeting with the Japanese teenager.
Both players produced some fantastic action on the table with spectators being treated to an attacking masterclass from two of the world’s finest. High paced, high intensity drama, only one player could prevail and that turned out to be Xu: up 3-1 on the scoreboard and with the Fast5 clock reaching zero, Xu survived a crucial point at 4-4 in game five as Harimoto lined up an explosive forehand but failed to make contact with the ball. Frustrated with the miss, but Harimoto showed his opponent respect with a customary handshake (11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 5-4).
In the earlier men’s singles semi-final it was the battle of the Lin’s as T2 Diamond Malaysia 2019 champion Lin Yun-Ju met China’s Lin Gaoyuan in what was anticipated to be a close affair.
However, despite a tight second game it was all one-way traffic in the direction of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, who emerged from the match with a powerful straight games victory without the requirement of Fast5 (11-6, 11-10, 11-8, 11-8).
Women’s Singles: Sun vesus Ito for the title
Over in the women’s singles draw there were two exciting semi-finals played out, the outstanding pick was surely the all-Chinese contest between Sun Yingsha and T2 Diamond Malaysia 2019 runner-up Wang Manyu.
A crazy match with twists and turns at every corner, the early signs pointed toward a Wang victory after she raced into what appeared to be an unassailable 3-1 lead. However, with Fast5 coming into effect something suddenly clicked into place for Sun, as the 19-year-old dropped a combined total of just four points across the next three games to complete a stunning comeback (4-11, 7-11, 11-4, 10-11, 5-2, 5-1, 5-1).
Standing at the opposite end of the table in the women’s singles final will be none other than Japan’s Mima Ito following her impressive outing against Jeon Jihee.
The standout name of day three with her shock victory over World no.1 Chen Meng at the quarter-final hurdle, Korea Republic’s Jeon had her chances in this one levelling the scores at 1-1 before narrowly missing out by a single point in game three. In the end it turned out to be a pretty convincing victory for Ito (11-7, 5-11, 11-10, 11-2, 5-1), who is set to do battle with Sun Yingsha for the fourth time this year later in the day.
Dramatic conclusion awaits
The action resumes on Sunday evening at the Our Tampines Hub as the excitement of T2 Diamond Singapore 2019 draws to a close.
Find out which player will go on to collect women’s singles bronze from 7.00pm local time before the third step of the men’s singles podium is decided in the following match. Then watch the two gold medal contests as Sun Yingsha meets Mima Ito in the women’s singles decider and Xu Xin takes on Lin Yun-Ju for the men’s singles crown.