Germany's Petrissa Solja fought back from three games down to beat Ai Fukuhara of Japan ©ITTF

Germany’s Petrissa Solja fought back from three games down to stun London 2012 silver medallist and Ai Fukuhara to reach the semi-finals of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Women’s World Cup on a day of upsets in Sendai, Japan.

Solja, the number 12 seed, looked to be heading out of the tournament after Fukuhara, also a silver medallist at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, raced into a 3-0 lead.

At 12-11 down in the fourth, Solja was staring defeat in the face but won the next three points to cut the deficit to 3-1, and from that point on the momentum shifted drastically in the German’s favour as she eventually saw out an 8-11, 6-11, 2-11, 14-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 triumph.

Solja will have to be at her giant-killing best once again if she is to progress further as she will take on top seed Liu Shiwen of China in the last four.

Liu proved too strong for Hu Melek, reaching the semi-finals thanks to a 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-1, 11-5 success.

Li Jiao of The Netherlands rolled back the years to send number two seed Zhu Yuling crashing out
Li Jiao of The Netherlands rolled back the years to send number two seed Zhu Yuling crashing out ©ITTF

“I won, I can’t believe it; I’m so happy, just unbelievable; just did not know what to do in those first three games,” the 21-year-old Solja,, who had earlier knocked out number five seed Feng Tianwei of Singapore, said.

"I was disappointed angry with myself, I really didn’t know what was happening.

“I said to myself just try to win one game; then just try to win another.”

Elsewhere on a dramatic day at the event in Sendai, number two seed and 2015 World Championships doubles gold medallist Zhu Yuling of China also crashed out of the competition as she suffered a 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 2-11, 12-10 defeat at the hands of 42-year-old Li Jiao.

The Chinese-born Dutchwoman, winner of the inaugural European Games women’s singles title, rolled back the years with an impressive display to set up a semi-final meeting with Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the first time she has reached the last four of the ITTF Women’s World Cup.

Number four seed Ishikawa accounted for Austria’s Liu Jia in the last eight with a 11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 17-15, 11-3, 11-7 victory.

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