ITTF World Tour Harmony China Open

Suzhou – China, August 25, 2012: Bronze medallists at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Germany’s Timo BOLL and Singapore’s FENG Tianwei, were beaten in the second round of the respective Men’s and Women’s Singles events at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Harmony China Open in Suzhou on Friday 24th August.

Both suffered against adversaries from the host nation. Timo BOLL, the no.3 seed was beaten by HAO Shuai, the no.9 seed (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10); whilst FENG Tianwei suffered at the hands of qualifier ZHAO Yan (11-7, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

The defeat of Timo BOLL was one of three surprises of note in the Men’s Singles event, as matters progressed towards the quarter-final stage but it was not the biggest upset.

Undoubtedly, the biggest shock was the defeat of China’s CHEN Qi, the no.6 seed, by Japan’s 18 year old Asuka MACHI, a player who been required to negotiate two days of qualification matches and had never previously ventured beyond the second round of a Tour tournament- He beat CHEN Qi in five games (8-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5).

Timo BOLL and CHEN Qi were the two most notable casualties of the day in the Men’s Singles event but there were two more, both surprises being caused by Chinese Taipei’s CHEN Chien-An, the 2008 World Junior champion. In the opening round he accounted for Singapore’s GAO Ning, the no.8 seed (11-8, 17-15, 7-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-8), before overcoming Austria’s Robert GARDOS, the no.11 seed (11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-5) to book his place in the round of the last eight.

Problems for notable names but for the most notable, the top two seeds, both from China, it was a successful day. XU Xin and MA Lin remained unscathed as did their colleague, WANG Liqin, the no.4 seed. Surprises in the Men’s Singles event and in addition to the demise of FENG Tianwei, there were more upsets in the Women’s Singles quarter-finals.

Poland’s Natalia PARTYKA, who competed in the recent Olympic Games and will be on duty next week in the Paralympic Games, ousted Singapore’s YU Mengyu, the no.8 seed (11-6, 5-11, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6); whilst China’s LI Xiaodan defeated Korea’s YANG Haeun, the no.5 seed (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5). Natalia PARTYKA had been required to compete in the qualification event, LI Xiaodan is the no.11 seed.

Defeats for three highly seeded players but there were no great problems for China’s LIU Shiwen, the no.1 seed, nor for colleague FAN Ying, the no.3 seed or Spain’s SHEN Yanfei, the no.4 seed. All booked quarter-final places. Sadness for Singapore and that was further exacerbated in the Women’s Doubles when FENG Tianwei and YU Mengyu, the no.2 seeds suffered a quarter-final defeat at the hands of LI Xiaodan and ZHAO Yan (11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8, 4-11, 11-7).

However, for the top seeds, Chinese Taipei’s CHENG I-Ching and HUANG Yi-Hwa; there were no such problems with a penultimate round place being booked. It was the same for the top two pairs in the Men’s Doubles event.

Both from China, CHEN Qi and MA Lin, the no.1 seeds, reserved their place in the penultimate round as did the second seeded combination of WANG Liqin and XU Xin. —- ITTF/ Photo by Fan Shen

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