Asian Cup: Yuling, Zhendong star in a day of Chinese domination

While the top two seeds in the women's section – Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen – 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.

World No. 2 Fan Zhendong was in his element in the semifinals, displaying a wide array of strokes.   -  AFP

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 the top two seeds in the women's section – Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen – 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, in the knockouts, he was in his element, displaying a wide array of strokes.

While his forehand top-spins were a treat to watch, his trademark backhand winners left the packed auditorium spellbound, and Lee Sangsu of Korea hapless, in a semifinal that turned out to be a one-sided affair. Earlier in the afternoon, he overcame Jin Mizutani in an intense five-game affair.

Gaoyuan, on the other hand, showcased his powerful forehand against Chien-An. His tendency to take risks at big points meant he steamrolled over his opponent in straight games.

BATRA LOSES THE PLAY-OFF

India's lone survivor, Manika Batra, lost to 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 was in itself a morale-booster for her next week's appearance in the Austrian Open.

                                                                                      Results

MEN

Semifinals: Lin Gaoyuan (CHN) beat 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 beat Koki Niwa (JPN) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 3-11, 13-11, 13-11; Lin Gaoyuan beat Sangeun Jeong (KOR) 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-5; Fan Zhendong beat Jin Mizutani (JPN) 11-8, 11-13, 16-14, 11-5, 11-8; Lee Sangsu beat Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE) 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9.

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

                                                                                   WOMEN

Semifinals: Zhu Yuling (CHN) beat Miu Hirano (JPN) 13-11, 11-8, 11-2, 12-10; Liu Shiwen (CHN) beat 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 beat Chen Szu-Yu (TPE) 11-13, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3; Kasumi Ishikawa beat Doo Hoi Ken (HKG) 11-9, 12-10, 14-12, 14-12; Liu Shiwen beat Suh Hyowon (KOR) 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3.

Playoff challenge: Miu Hirano (JPN) beat Manika Batra (IND) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6; Su Hyowon (KOR) beat Lee Ho Ching (HKG) 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 11-9.