Fri, 02 Jun 2023

DURBAN, South Africa, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The ITTF World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) Finals saw continued dominance from China, with five players advancing to the last 32 in singles events and five pairs proceeding to the doubles quarterfinals here on Tuesday.

Men's singles second seed Wang Chuqin spearheaded the Chinese effort on the competition's fourth day, securing a 4-1 victory over world No. 48 Shunsuke Togami of Japan.

After quick exchanges, Wang notched up 11-3 victories in the initial three games. Togami, the back-to-back All Japan Table Tennis Championships winner, managed to claim the fourth game 11-6, but Wang emerged victorious with an 11-6 win in the fifth game.

"I didn't dwell on the score or my advantage during the match. I was prepared for a trailing position or a full game scenario," admitted Wang. Participating in three categories in Durban, Wang remarked that his performance had improved as the matches progressed, but he endeavored to approach each match with a fresh mindset.

Wang's compatriot Lin Gaoyuan convincingly defeated Daniel Habesohn of Austria with the scores of 11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.

"He showcased quality strikes and character, so my strategy was to keep him in check and gain the upper hand with my speed," Lin elaborated.

China's Fan Zhendong, Ma Long, and Liang Jingkun secured their men's singles last-32 spots on Monday.

In the women's singles, three Chinese players, in line with their world rankings, advanced to the third round of the event.

Fourth seed Wang Yidi overcame Maria Xiao of Spain with a score of 4-0, while defending champion Wang Manyu also dispatched Hana Matelova of the Czech Republic in straight games.

Wang Yidi confided that, having never faced Xiao before, she studied her teammate Shi Xunyao's game against Xiao from last year's World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Muscat.

"I was prepared for a challenging game given her capabilities," Wang remarked.

Chen Xingtong maintained her winning streak against Lee Zi-on, whom she had bested at the Asian WTTC Continental Stage earlier this year, triumphing 4-1.

"We know each other's game quite well and got into the rhythm quickly," Chen said. "All five games were intense, and I was mentally ready for a decider today."

Wang Yidi, Wang Manyu, and Chen joined world No. 1 Sun Yingsha and Olympic gold medalist Chen Meng in the women's last 32.

On the doubles front, Chinese pairs have kept their unblemished record intact.

World No. 1 pair Fan Zhendong/Wang Chuqin faced stiff resistance from French young duo Alexis and Felix Lebrun, narrowly escaping a full-game thriller to advance to the men's doubles quarterfinals.

"Victory is the priority. There may be ups and downs in this process, but I am content with it," Fan stated.

Fan and Wang were accompanied into the quarterfinals by Lin Gaoyuan/Lin Shidong, who triumphed over Darko Jorgic of Slovenia and Tomas Polansky of the Czech Republic 3-0.

Wang, along with Sun Yingsha, also sailed into the mixed doubles quarterfinals after dispatching Austrian pair Robert Gardos/Sofia Polcanova 3-0. Young Chinese pair Lin Shidong and Kuai Man clinched their spots in the next round by overcoming South Korean duo Cho Dae-seong/Kim Na-yeong 3-0.

Women's doubles defending champions Sun and Wang Manyu outperformed Doo Hoi Kem/Zhu Chengzhu of Hong Kong, China 3-0.

Other noteworthy figures advancing through men's singles matches on Tuesday include fourth-ranked Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan, and Top 10 seeds Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei and Germany's Qiu Dang. Nigerian Quadri Aruna, currently the highest-ranked African player at world No. 16, saw his Durban campaign come to an end following a full-game defeat to Alvaro Robles of Spain.

Japan's sixth seed Mima Ito and No. 7 seed Hina Hayata have qualified for the women's singles third round.

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