Women's world number one and top seed Chen Meng cruised into tomorrow’s singles final at the International Table Tennis Federation Qatar Open in Doha with victory over defending champion Wang Manyu.
Chen, three times a world champion, earned a 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4 victory against her fellow Chinese player to move through to tomorrow’s final, where she will meet Mima Ito.
In the earlier semi-final at the Aspire Dome the Japanese player had beaten China’s Rio 2016 champion Ding Ning resoundingly, 11-6, 14-12, 11-0, 11-5.
In the last eight Chen, the German Open winner and three-time World Championship gold medallist, knocked out compatriot Wang Yidi 11-5, 11-8, 13-15, 11-6, 11-6.
A day after the shock defeat of China’s Rio 2016 gold medallist and defending champion Ma Long there was almost another upset for his compatriot Xu Xin, the world number one, who needed seven games to get past France’s Simon Gauzy in their quarter-final match.
Xu, who is second seed in Doha, eventually got the job done 6-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7.
His opponent tomorrow will be England’s Liam Pitchford, who earned a 14-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 win over China’s Chuang Chih-Yuan.
Meanwhile Ma Long’s conqueror, Wang Chuqin, earned his passage to the last four with victory over another compatriot,. Liang Jingkun, 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7.
He will now meet Chinese top seed Fan Zhendong. who advanced comfortably to the last four with an 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10 win over Sweden’s Jan Persson.
The first title of the tournament, the women’s doubles, went to China’s second seeds Wang Manyu and Zhu Yuling, who saw off the challenge of the Japanese teenagers seeded number one, Miyuu Kihara and Miyu Nagasaki, 11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Pitchford's day took a downturn when he and his partner Paul Drinkhall were beaten 8-11, 11-8, 1-11, 6-11 in the men's doubles final by Xu Xin and Ma Long.
But the silver medallists had made history by becoming the first English pairing to reach a men’s doubles final on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series since their inception in 1996.