(by Steve Hopkins)
Fan Zhendong and Ma Long each advanced to the Quarterfinals in the Singapore Smash, but both were pushed in their Round of 16 match. World No.1 Fan Zhendong was down 1-2 against Korea’s Jaehyun An before fighting back to take the final two games for the win. It was almost the same story for World No.2 Ma Long who won the first game against Wang Chuqin before losing the next two. But from a 1-2 deficit, he dominated the final two games and advanced.
The big upset of the day was Patrick Franziska over Xu Xin. The two traded games with the last three all 11-9. But ultimately it was Franziska winning the first, third, and fifth games to advance. See the match video below.
The most dominant player of the tournament thus far has been Lin Yun-Ju. He has now won all three of his matched 3-0, with the most recent “victim” being Euro 16 Champion Darko Jorgic. Lin Yun-Ju will face ma Long on Thursday in the Quarters.
Kristian Karlsson’s path to the Quarters benefitted from two upsets. Hugo Calderano fell in the opening round to Joao Geraldo, and Karlsson then eliminated Geraldo. And Benedikt Duda topped Truls Moregard in the Round of 32 and Kristian then eliminated Duda. Next up for Karlsson is World No. 5 Liang Jinkun.
Harimoto and Boll were seeded to potentially face off in a Quarterfinal, but each fell early. Harimoto fell to Kanak Jha, and Boll fell to Yukiya Uda. Ultimately the Quarterfinal match up is now between two underdogs – Germany’s Dang Qiu and Japan’s Yukiya Uda.
The Quarterfinal matchups in Women’s Singles seldom have the same excitement of unexpected wins and upsets. Six of the top 8 seeds have advanced, so this tournament has narrowed to a field that looks like many others. The two upsets were Doo Hoi Kem, who fell to Sofia Polcanova on Sunday, and Mima Ito who fell to Jia Nan Yuan on Tuesday evening.
The Thursday Quarterfinal Matchups are Sun Yingsha/Hina Hayata, Wang Many/Sofia Polcanova, Wang Yidi/Jia Nan Yuan, and Chen Meng/Kasumi Ishikawa. Each matchup is between a higher-rated Chinese player and a non-Chinese player.
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