France's 36-year-old Yuan Jia Nan beat the world number three Mima Ito of Japan at the WTT Grand Smash in Singapore ©Getty Images

Women's world number three Mima Ito of Japan became the most high-profile casualty of the inaugural World Table Tennis (WTT) Grand Smash event in Singapore.

The 21-year-old Ito, who won team gold and individual bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer, was beaten 5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 by France’s world number 67, Yuan Jia Nan in their round-of-16 match.

Meanwhile China’s men’s world No. 1 Fan Zhendong and double Olympic champion Ma Long survived scares to advance to the men’s singles quarter-finals at the OCBC Arena.

After her landmark victory, Yuan, 36, who was born in China and received French citizenship in 2011, told WTT: "I just wanted to do my best in the match and give a good fight, because it was my first time playing against (Ito).

"Initially I was just concentrating on not losing 3-0 and was aiming to just win one game.

"After winning one game I told myself if I can win a second game that would be good."

Ma Long, 33, fended off a spirited attack from 13th-ranked fellow Chinese Wang Chuqin before winning 12-10, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6.

Fan was also stretched as he eventually earned an 11-4, 6-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7 win over An Jaehyun from South Korea.

The 21-year-old Wang had a better result in the men’s doubles quarter-final, partnering Fan to beat the home duo of Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10.

The Singaporean pair, whose match was attended by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, had earlier defeated 2019 World Championship finalists, Spaniard Alvaro Robles and Romanian Ovidiu Ionescu.

Chew, who made his Olympic debut in Tokyo last year, said: "We gave (Fan and Wang) a good fight."

Chinese Taipei duo Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching and Chinese pair Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha won their respective mixed doubles matches and will face each other in tomorrow’s final.

Table tennis’s new equivalent of a tennis Grand Slam carries $2 million (£1.5 million/€1.75 million) in prize money - the most ever put up for an officially sanctioned table tennis tournament - and offers singles champions $100,000 (£74,000/€91,000) each.