Xu Xin vs Zhang Jike
video kindly shared by ttCountenance
The 2012 China Open Men Singles had their semifinal stage in the final day of the tournament. In the lower half of the draw, the world champion Zhang Jike fought for his place in the finals against his runner up in Incheon and Shanghai's pride Xu Xin.
Zhang Jike clinched the Men Singles title last week in Incheon after defeating his teammate Xu Xin in a full seven-set match. Last week, Zhang Jike started slow and lost the first set. Today, we saw a different Zhang Jike as he started off with the advantage. Zhang Jike was in control of the opening set with 11-5.
Xu Xin had the control in the first half of the second set but tides turned in favor to Zhang Jike as the set progressed. Eventually, Zhang Jike was more stable and sealed his second point with a tight 11-9. In the third set, Xu Xin already sensed danger so he played extra hard. At the same time, Zhang Jike was not letting go of the game and made it difficult for Xu Xin to establish a decent lead. They tied in most of the points until in 9-9.
In the third game, Xu Xin had the advantage in 10-9 but Zhang Jike was just persistent and leveled in 10-10. After the tie, Xu Xin had his second set point but failed to convert the advantage to a point. For the third time, Xu Xin came close to winning the set but once again leveled by Zhang Jike. After three tries, Xu Xin got another advantage and this time, he successfully closed it with 14-12.
Eventually, winning the previous set made Xu Xin more aggressive in the fourth set. Xu Xin gave pressure to Zhang Jike as he caught up in 10-10 then overtook to 11-10. Xu Xin leveled in 2-2 with 12-10. The match progressed with intensity as Xu Xin already warmed up and Zhang Jike trying to keep the lead. In the fifth set, Xu Xin successfully overtook to 3-2 with 11-9.
At this point, Zhang Jike was placed in a dangerous position as he has two mountains to climb. In addition, Xu Xin was having the control in the sixth set. This time, Zhang Jike was not given any opportunities to recover. Xu Xin sealed the match with 11-6.
After six sets, Xu Xin will meet the world's number one Ma Long in the finals.
Photo source: sohu.com