ITTF. The penultimate day of the 2013 Harmony Open ended with the quarterfinal round of the Men's Singles with high intensity matches producing the deserving winners.
The first match in the quarterfinal round was between the top seed Ma Long against the veteran from Singapore, Gao Ning. Just like the usual Ma Long, the Chinese player dominated in the first three sets. However, in the fourth game, Gao Ning had his opportunity and finally got a set to his name.
Ma Long was a bit shaken in the fifth set but towards the end of it, the Chinese top seed gained his momentum making it difficult for his opponent to score. Eventually, Ma Long advances into the semifinals with 11-8, 11-4, 11-3, 11-13, 11-7.
Ma Long vs Gao Ning 2013 Harmony Open MS QF
video kindly shared by janus770
The second match was between two Japanese sensations Kenta Matsudaira and Koki Niwa. In the previous round, both caused casualties in the Chinese Team defeating Wang Hao and Yan An respectively. Unfortunately, only one from these two talents will proceed into the semifinals.
Koki Niwa started well in the match and got the opening set but Matsudaira quickly levelled in 1-1. Their battle progressed very tight in the third set as both players did not give each other an easy route. This time, Matsudaira was clearly having the momentum while Niwa was played under pressure.
But in such a critical position in the match, Koki Niwa did not lose hope and dominated the next sets. At this point, Matsudaira was left behind and already using his timeout placed him in a much dangerous position.
Their battle reached the decider and the fittest was Koki Niwa with 11-8, 8-11, 15-17, 10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6.
Koki Niwa vs Kenta Matsudaira Video kindly shared by Official ITTF Channel
The third match was a recall of the 2012 London Olympics bronze medal battle: Dimitrij Ovtcharov against Chaung Chih Yuan. Once again the match was full of intensity with both players giving their all in every rally making each point and set hard-earned. At the end of six sets, Chuang Chih Yuan was not able to redeem himself from his defeat in London as Ovtcharov had a repeat performance.
Ovtcharov scored 11-9, 11-13, 15-17, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3.
Dimitrij Ovtcharov vs Chuang Chih-Yuan Video kindly shared by Official ITTF Channel
The last match in the round was between the second seed Xu Xin and the Singaporean Zhan Jian. The Chinese player started slow in the match but he was quick to recover. Despite the solid recovery, Zhan Jian did not lose his control over the table and tied in 2-2.
After giving away the fourth set, Xu Xin dominated the succeeding sets and posted victory with 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6.
Unlike the usual scene, the Chinese Team was not able to take full control of the quarterfinal round of the Women's Singles after the third seed Zhu Yuling was not able to defend her line in the draw. She lost to Chinese Taipei's Cheng I Ching in 6-11, 5-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5, 11-13.
Meanwhile, the other semifinalists are all Chinese: Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng and Wu Yang. The top seed Liu Shiwen dominated the Japanese Kasumi Ishikawa in 4-0, Chen Meng ended the hopes of her teammate Zhao Yan in 4-0 while Wu Yang had the second seed Feng Tianwei her victim with an impressive 4-0.
Photo source: Sohu Sports