No Europeans in the semis of the Uncle Pop 2019 ITTF Women's World CupPhoto: ITTF
On the second day of play at the Uncle Pop 2019 ITTF Women's World Cup in Chengdu there are no more European players left in the arena in China. At the semi-final stage China’s ZHU Yuling meets FENG Tianwei of Singapore, whilst another host nation representative LIU Shiwen opposes Lily ZHANG of USA; play concludes in Chengdu on Sunday 20th October.
Lily ZHANG was beaten in her very first match of the tournament by Romania’s Bernadette SZOCS (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-3); second place in the initial phase group and thus progress to the main draw gained courtesy of success in opposition to Puerto Rico’s Adriana DIAZ (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11), on the second day of action Lily Zhang excelled all expectations.
The no.18 seed, she beat Japan’s Miu HIRANO, the no.4 seed and winner in 2016 in Philadelphia (12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5), prior to accounting for Austria’s Sofia POLCANOVA, the no.8 seed in yet another full distance encounter (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8) to reserve her place in the penultimate round.
Thus, Lily ZHANG becomes the first player from the United States and only the second from the Pan American continent to progress to the semi-final stage of the tournament.
A surprise semi-finalists and there was one more; Singapore’s FENG Tianwei, the no.7 seed, after overcoming Bernadette, the no.9 seed (11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8), accounted for Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA, the no.3 seed (12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7) to reserve her last four place.
Upsets but not where China was concerned; both ZHU Yuling, the top seed and LIU Shiwen, the no.2 seed, advanced smoothly to the penultimate round. ZHU Yuling beat Canada’s ZHANG Mo, the no.14 seed (11-2, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4), followed by success in opposition to Germany’s Petrissa SOLJA, the no.11 seed (11-4, 11-1, 11-6, 11-7).