Hangzhou – China, Dec 08: The host nation asserted its authority on proceedings on the second day of action, Friday 7th December, at the $1,000,000 GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in the city of Hangzhou.
Three Chinese players entered the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event; three emerged successful to book semi-final places.
CHEN Meng, the 18 year old who had finished in first place on the year’s GAC GROUP 2012 Women’s Singles Standings, staved off a spirited effort by the Czech Republic’s Iveta VACENOVSKA (11-6, 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8).
Similarly, DING Ning, the reigning World champion and the player who heads the current Women’s World Rankings, was in form. She ended the progress of Romania’s Elizabeta SAMARA (9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8), before LIU Shiwen, the defending champion, accounted for Korea’s DANG Yeseo in a very similar manner to her colleagues.
Likewise, she posted a five games success (7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4) to book her place in the penultimate round.
At the semi-final stage CHEN Meng faces DING Ning, FENG Tianwei confronts LIU Shiwen.
No surprises in the Women’s Singles quarter-finals but at the same stage of the Men’s Doubles event, there was an upset.
Japan’s Seiya KISHIKAWA and Koki NIWA, the pair who clinched the final qualification place in the event, beat Korea’s KIM Minseok and SEO Hyudeok, the no.2 seeds (9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9).
Meanwhile, in the remaining Men’s Doubles quarter-final duels, matters went according to status.
Singapore’s GAO Ning and LI Hu, the no.1 seeds, beat Chinese Taipei’s CHIANG Hung-Chieh and HUANG Sheng-Sheng, the no.6 seeds (12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8) and now meet the Korea duo of KIM Donghyun and LEE Jung Woo in the semi-finals.
Seeded no.3, they overcame Singapore’s YANG Zi and ZHAN Jian, the no.5 seeds at the quarter-final stage (7-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3).
Success for Korea and there was further success; OH Sangeun and RYU Seungmin, the no.4 seeds, overcame Sweden’s Kristian KARLSSON and Mattias KARLSSON, the no.7 seeds (11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5). They face Seiya KISHIKAWA and Koki NIWA in the penultimate round.
In the two events to be decided on the second day of play in Hangzhou; Germany’s Patrick FRANZISKA won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title beating Iran’s Noshad ALAMIYAN in the final (11-4, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5), whilst in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA retained the title won one year earlier in London.
She beat Chinese Taipei’s CHEN Szu-Yu in the final (12-14,12-10,12-10,11-6,11-5) and thus gained revenge for the defeat suffered one day earlier at the hands of the rising Chinese Taipei player in the group phase of proceedings.
The quarter-final stage of the Men’s Singles event plus the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Doubles competition will be played on Saturday 8th December; play concludes on Sunday 9th December. —- ITTF/Photo by Zhang Yong