(by Steve Hopkins)
Xinxiang China is the host to this year’s WTT Cup Finals. In the Cup Finals, the World’s Top 16 are invited. For the Men, a late scratch left a Bye in the draw – but 15 of the World’s Top 16 are playing. For the Women, No. 6 and No. 11 have been replaced by No. 17 and No. 18. In both events, every match will be between the world’s best.
Half of the draw is made up of Chinese and Germans – 4 qualified from each country. Timo Boll, the lowest seeded of the German qualifiers, logged an early upset today with a 3-2 win over Lin Gaoyuan. Dimitrij Ovtcharov topped Chuang Chih-Yuan 3-2 as well, so a second German reached the Quarterfinals.
With Liang Junkun out, Fan Zhendong advanced with a bye. Ma Long and Wang Chuqin each advanced, so China will have three in the Quarterfinals. Ma Long topped Darko Jorgic 3-1, and Wang Chuqin topped Dang Qiu 3-1. Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto dominated Patrick Franziska 3-0 to advance. Lin Yun-Ju topped Quadri Aruna 3-1. Truls Moregard defeated Hugo Calderano 3-1. Friday matchups will be Fan/Ovtcharov, Harimoto/Timo, Chuqin/Moregard, Yun-Ju/Ma Long.
Adriana Diaz logged a small upset in her opening match – a 3-1 win over Doo Hoi Kem. Diaz joins some of the biggest names in the Ladies’ game in the Quarterfinals. In fact, it is five Chinese women, two Japanese women, and Diaz in the Final 8. Quarterfinal matchups will be Sun Yingsha/Ishikawa, Wang Yidi/Diaz, Mima Ito/Wang Manyu, and Chen Xingtong/Chen Meng.
Lots of quality table tennis through the weekend – we’ll have more updates soon.
Visit ButterflyOnline.com for the latest table tennis news and results