by Ian Marshall, Editor
A full day of action, the quarter-finals of the men’s singles and women’s singles events, in addition to the finals of the men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed proved an enthralling day of action.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov delivers repeat performance
Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the no.10 seed, beat China’s Fan Zhendong, the no.2 seed, in a thrilling seven games duel, securing victory on his third match point (9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-5, 12-10).
Thus he repeated the performance of November 2017 when one round later in the very same venue, he had overcome Fan Zhendong in a contest just as dramatic (13-11, 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11). A good omen for Dimitrij Ovtcharov, on that occasion he progressed to win the title.
Additionally the win brought to an end, the quite astounding run of Fan Zhendong. He had remained unbeaten since Sunday 6th October when experiencing a semi-final defeat against colleague Lin Gaoyuan at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm. Soon after he won on the ITTF World Tour in Germany and Austria, at the Grand Finals, the Men’s World Cup and earlier this year at the Marvellous 12 in Shenzhen.
Jun Mizutani falls short in delivering repeat performance
Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.13 seed, fought back from a three games to nil deficit against China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the no.4 seed, to force a deciding seventh.
Alas he was not able to complete the recovery (11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-13, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6) and emulate the feat of the previous day when he had caused a major second round upset
Facing Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, he had lost the opening three games before winning the next four, securing the decider in dramatic fashion to secure his last eight place (10-12, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10).
Cho Daeseong and Jang Woojin shock winners
Required to qualify, Korea Republic’s Cho Daeseong and Jang Woojin beat China’s Lin Gaoyuan and Ma Long, the no.2 seeds (10-12, 15-13, 12-14, 14-12, 11-6) to sensationally arrest the men’s doubles title.
Both once again underlined their doubles expertise. Jang Woojin had partnered Lim Jonghoon to men’s doubles success at the 2018 Grand Finals, last year Cho Daeseong, only 17 years old, had partnered 15 years of age Shin Yubin to mixed doubles gold in the Czech Republic.
A first as a pair for Cho Daeseong and Jang Woojin, for Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa, they still seek a first; the no.6 seeds, they were beaten in the women’s doubles final by China’s Chen Meng and Wang Manyu, the top seeds (11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Ding Ning and Zhu Yuling back to winning ways
Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seed, beat colleague, Liu Shiwen, the reigning world champion (11-3, 11-9, 11-3, 11-2); Ding Ning accounted for Japan’s Mima Ito, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-13, 14-12, 11-8, 11-5), a player against whom the 2016 Rio Olympic Games champion has experienced problems in the past. Notably suffering defeat last year at the ITTF World Tour China Open.
In 2019, neither Ding Ning nor Zhu Yuling won an ITTF World Tour women’s singles title; very different for their Chinese national team colleagues who await in the penultimate round. Ding Ning meets Wang Manyu, Zhu Yuling opposes Chen Meng.
Overcoming compatriots, Chen Meng, the top seed, beat Wang Yidi (6-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-5, 11-6) to reserve her semi-final place; Wang Manyu, the no.6 seed, ended the progress of Sun Yingsha, the no.2 seed (11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 11-8).
Ma Long and Xu Xin sounds warning bells
After partnering Liu Shiwen to mixed doubles success against Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito, the no.4 seeds (12-10, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7), Xu Xin was in no mood for charity; in the men’s singles he overcame colleague Zhao Zihao in four straight games (11-8, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8).
Similarly, Ma Long, the no.3 seed, made his presence felt in no uncertain terms; he dominated matters from start to finish against Korea Republic’s Cho Seungmin (11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-4).
Xu Xin now faces Lin Gaoyuan; in the opposite half of the draw Dimitrij Ovtcharov confronts Ma Long.