(by Steve Hopkins)
The strongest field of the Summer has progressed to the Quarterfinals in Budapest, Hungary. Action for both Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles starts about 1pm Eastern Time (7pm local time). Live video will be posted at www.worldtabletennis.com/livevideo
Ma Long (World No. 2) is the top seed in the event. He dropped one game to Felix Lebrun in the Round of 32 and then topped Marcox Freitas 3-0. Ma Long will face Lin Gaoyuan in the first of the four Quarters. For his part, Lin Gaoyuan narrowly got by Dang Qiu 3-2 and then pounded Dimitrij Ovtcharov 3-0 (the games were closer than the score might indicate with Ovtcharov scoring 9, 8, and 8 in the losses). Wamg Chuqin beat USA’s Kanak Jha in the Round of 32, and then squeezed by Hugo Calderano 3-2 on his way to face Lin Yun-Ju in the second Quarterfinal. Lin took out Patrick Franziska 3-0 in the Round of 16.
Darko Jorgic will face Truls Moregard in the third Quarterfinal. This actually follows their seeding, though both have recently shot up in the World Rankings and this is one of the first tests for them. Jorgic defeated Sharath Kamal Achanta 3-0 and then Timo Boll 3-1. Moregard defeated Mattias Falck 3-2 and then Chuang Chih-Yuan 3-2. Liang Jingkun reached the Quarters as the second seed relatively easily. He will Lim Jonghoon of Korea. Jonghoon topped Quadri Aruna 3-2 in the Round of 32. He also benefitted from Harimoto’s early exit (Omar Assar topped Harimoto 3-2) as Lim easily defeated Omar Assar 3-0.
WIth the withdrawl of Chen Meng and placement of Korea’s Lee Zion in the top position in the draw (to fill in), the top bracket of the Women’s Singles draw was weaker than the others. Zion won her first match and then fell to Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi in the Round of 16. Takahashi will face Kasumi Ishikawa in the first Quarterfinal. The other pairings are exactly as expected by seeding: Wang Yidi will face Doo Hoi Kem, Mima Ito will face Wang Manyu, and Hina Hayata will face Sun Yingsha.
For those watching TeamUSA players – Kanak Jha won one match over Wong Chun Ting but then fell in the Round of 32 to Wang Chuqin. Lily Zhang topped Petrissa Solaja 3-2 but then fell to Kasumi Ishikawa 2-3.
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