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Chinese ensure Asian Cup whitewash

Dominant: Zhu Yuling breezed past Miu Hirano in the semifinals.

Dominant: Zhu Yuling breezed past Miu Hirano in the semifinals.   | Photo Credit: Ajit Solanki

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Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen defeat their opponents in contrasting fashion

The Chinese domination was on full display as all four paddlers in the contingent ensured they will compete in Sunday’s men’s and women’s finals of the ITTF Asian Cup at The Arena by TransStadia.

While top two seeds in the women’s section — Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen, respectively —overcame their Japanese opponents in contrasting fashion, the men’s semifinals turned out to be a one-way traffic for top seed Fan Zhendong and seventh seed Lin Gaoyuan.

Zhendong, the World No. 2, had started the tournament with a loss against Chen Chien-An of Chinese Taipei in the opening league game.

However, when it came to the knockouts, the consistent player was in his element.

He may have been perceived to be a reserved character off the table but on it, he didn’t miss an opportunity to display his wide array of strokes. While his forehand top-spins were a treat to watch, his trademark backhand winners left the packed auditorium spellbound.

Gaoyuan, on the other hand, did not leave any opportunity in showcasing his powerful forehand strokeplay in an all-left-handers’ affair against Chien-An. Gaoyuan’s tendency to take risks at big points meant he steamrolled over his opponent in straight games.

India’s lone survivor, Manika Batra, failed to pull off a upset against World No. 7 Miu Hirano of Japan in the morning, losing the best-of-five tie in four games. That Batra snatched the second game stretched the match beyond three games was in itself a morale-booster for her next week’s appearance in the Austrian Open.

The results: Men: Semifinals: Lin Gaoyuan (Chn) bt Chen Chien-An (Tpe) 11-5, 12-10, 15-13, 11-7; Fan Zhendong (Chn) bt Lee Sangsu (Kor) 11-5, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.

Quarterfinals: Chen Chien-An bt Koki Niwa (Jpn) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 13-11, 13-11; Lin Gaoyuan bt Sangeun Jeong (Kor) 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5; Fan Zhendong bt Jin Mizutani (Jpn) 11-8, 11-13, 16-14, 11-5, 11-8; Lee Sangsu bt Chuang Chih-Yuan (Tpe) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9.

Playoff Challenge: Lee Sangsu bt Noshad Alamiyan (Iri) 11-4, 10-12, 11-13, 11-2, 12-10; Chen Chien-An bt Nima Alamian (Iri) 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7.

Women: Semifinals: Zhu Yuling (Chn) bt Miu Hirano (Jpn) 13-11, 11-8, 11-2, 12-10; Liu Shiwen (Chn) bt Kasumi Ishikawa (Jpn) 15-13, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6.

Quarterfinals: Zhu Yuling bt Cheng I-Ching (Tpe) 11-5, 11-3, 11-2, 11-3; Miu Hirano bt Chen Szu-Yu (Tpe) 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3; Kasumi Ishikawa bt Doo Hoi Ken (Hkg) 11-9, 12-10, 14-12, 14-12; Liu Shiwen bt Suh Hyowon (Kor) 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3.

Playoff Challenge: Miu Hirano (Jpn) bt Manika Batra (Ind) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6; Su Hyowon (Kor) bt Lee Ho Ching (Hkg) 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:30:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/chinese-ensure-asian-cup-whitewash/article19700290.ece

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