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.