(by Steve Hopkins)
We are through to the Final 16 in Macao at the $800,000 WTT Champions Macao event. Four strong Chinese players have advanced (Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Liang Jingkun, and Fan Zhendong), three Germans have advanced (Dang Qiu, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and Patrick Franziska), and three Swedes have advanced (Truls Moregard, Anton Kallberg, and Mattias Falck).
Once outside of those powerhouse countries, we have USA’s Kanak Jha, Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic, France’s Alexis Lebrun, Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, and Slovakia’s Yang Wang. With such an elite field, its hard to call any matches upsets – especially since none of the top seeds are out. That said, Kanak Jha’s win over Sweden’s Kristian Karlsson, and France’s Alexis Lebrun over Korea’s Jang Woojin may be the biggest surprises thus far.
The women’s draw also features four Chinese players (Sun Yingsha, Chen Xingtong, Wang Yidi, and Chen Meng), and a dominant Japanese presence (Kasumi Ishikawa, Mima Ito, and Miyuu Kihara). The other players through to the Final 16 are Bernadette Szocs, Xiaona Shan, Jeon Jihee, Dina Meshref, Jia Nan Yuan, Hana Matelova, Xiaoxin Yang, and a pair of Taipei players – Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching.
The big upset of the day was France’s Jia Nan Yuan who took out World No.3 Wang Manyu 3-2. USA’s Lily Zhang fell to Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz fell to China’s Chen Xingtong.
Lots of quality table tennis on tap all week long.
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