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Singapore Smash: Final 16

(by Steve Hopkins)

After an opening round that saw three of the World’s Top 10 ranked men fall to upsets, the Singapore Smash moved on to the Round of 32 – and the competitive field took more casualties.

Timo Boll (World No.9)  fell to Japan’s Yukiya Uda 3-2.  Benedikt Duda also knocked out World No.14 Truls Moregard 3-2, Germany’s fourth best player topping Sweden’s best.

The final 16 match-ups should be exciting.  Fan Zhendong will face Jaehyun An of Korea.  Patrick Franziska will face Xu Xin.  Anton Kallberg (who ended Kanak Jha’s run this morning) will face Dan Qiu.  Lim Jonghoon will face Yukiya Uda.Liang Jingkun will play Kirill Gerassimenko.  Benedikt Duda will face Kristian Karlsson.  Lin Yun-Ju will face Darko Jorgic.  And Wang Chuqin will face Ma Long.

China has 5 players in the final 16.  Germany has three players remaining.  Korea, and Sweden all have two players in the final 16.  The top two seeds remain (Fan and Ma Long), the Euro 16 champion remains (Jorgic), the Worlds doubles champion remains (Karlsson), and 2020 Japanese champ (Uda), and even without Ovtcharov competing and with Boll out Germany still has three players alive.  At least by seeding, China is still likely to see 4 players in the Final 8 to expand their advantage – but thus far the Singapore Smash has had solid story lines with representatives from all over the World.

Women’s Singles has 6 Chinese women in the Final 16 and three Japanese.  The favorites, Sun Yingsha, Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu, Wang Yidi, Mima Ito, Kasumi Ishikawa, and Chen Meng are all still playin – and the next rounds will likely include mostly these names.  The other players who have advanced this far include Cheng I-ChingJia Nan Yuan of Taipei, Jia Nan Yuan of France, Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, Germany’s Nina Mettelham, Suthasini Sawettabut of Tailand,  and Sofia Polcanova of Austria.

Interesting news from Doubles – World Champions Karlsson and Falck fell in the Round of 16 to Toberg Gardos and Daniel Habesohn 3-2.  More action will follow this week in all events – with the Finals next weekend.

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