by Kabir Nagpal
The second session of the second day of an historic WTT event saw the final Battle Two matches in play as successful qualifiers from Battle One took on the remaining 5th-8th seeds in Macao.
Chen Xingtong 3-0 Doo Hoi Kem (11-8, 11-8, 11-3)
Doo Hoi Kem was eliminated in a rapid session of the afternoon here in Macao, as eighth seed Chen Xingtong recorded a straight games win.
The Chinese athlete was simply too fast on the counter against her opponent from Hong Kong China, and that was enough to wrap up a place for Chen in the Elimination finals.
Fang Bo 3-2 Lin Yun-Ju (11-7, 11-10, 2-11, 10-11, 13-11)
Another major upset has occurred here in Macao with no.5 seed Lin Yun-Ju tasting defeat at the hands of Fang Bo, no.16 seed, in a five-game nail-biter!
Taking a 2-0 lead but Fang still had plenty to do with his teenage counterpart from Chinese Taipei capable of fighting back, and that’s exactly what happened with Lin producing a stunning response to level the match. However, Fang wasn’t to be denied, as he conjured up a magical set of forehands in the final game to secure passage into the next round!
Cheng I-Ching 3-2 Liu Weishan (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7)
Chinese Taipei fans witnessed two nail-biters end in vastly different ways as Cheng I-Ching saw off the challenge of Battle One winner Liu Weishan in 31 minutes.
In what was an evenly-balanced match with both athletes winning one game after the other, Cheng found a way past Liu in the final game with a smart block and counter which her Chinese opponent did not see coming.
Jeoung Youngsik 3-2 Liam Pitchford (6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5)
Wrapping up the afternoon session was another cracking battle between Jeoung Youngsik and Liam Pitchford – one which happened to swing in favour of the Korea Republic player.
It was an intense encounter with shorter rallies than usual – not just because of the WTT format – but also because neither Pitchford nor Jeoung were willing to back down from attacking the other. Eventually, it was Jeoung who managed to gain and then hold on to the advantage – sending him into the Elimination Round tomorrow.
What’s coming next?