Day Three Preview: Finalists to be determined on day three of Grand Finals
Saturday 10th December will mark the third day of the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha, Qatar and all six competitions are set to settle which athletes will compete in the respective finals as the tournament enters its penultimate day.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Singles categories will resume with two quarter-final matches before four players from each competition will battle it out for a spot in the finals with the last four set to take place later in the day.
China’s Fan Zhendong finished as the Men’s Singles runner up at last year’s event and the no.2 seed for the 2016 Grand Finals will have an opportunity to make back-to-back appearances in the category’s final on day three in Doha if results go his way.
However, the 2016 Men’s World Cup winner will have to first negotiate a difficult quarter-finals tie against Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, and if Fan Zhendong prevails then a possible fixture with either one of Yuto Muramatsu or the third seed Xu Xin awaits for the 19-year-old.
The top half of the draw will see the top seed Ma Long take on the surprise athlete of the Men’s Singles tournament so far Jeoung Youngsik; no.12 seed Jeoung Youngsik has already eliminated Vladimir Samsonov and Chuang Chih-Yuan from the event, will the player from Korea Republic manage to pick up his third big scalp in a row when he takes on Ma Long in the evening session on day three?
Germany’s Han Ying and China’s Zhu Yuling have already booked their places in the last four of the Women’s Singles, and following the withdrawal of the first seed Ding Ning from the event due to illness the fight for the crown has been blown wide open.
Two encounters in the last eight remain to be played with Miu Hirano going up against Tie Yana, while the second seed Kasumi Ishikawa prepares to face off with Yang Haeun. The two victorious players will then progress to the next stage where they will meet Han Ying and Zhu Yuling respectively for a chance to reach the final.
Before the two Singles events recommence on day three in Doha, there is still the small matter of semi-final ties to be decided in the Men’s and Women’s Doubles categories.
Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, no.1 seeds, will take on Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching in the top half of the semi-finals draw, with Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato facing Yui Hamamoto and Hina Hayata in an all-Japanese last four fixture.
The Men’s Doubles will also feature semi-finals matches as Russia’s Alexey Liventsov and Mikhail Paikov look to upset the second seeds Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, and the Under 21 Women’s Singles will get underway with quarter-finals and semi-finals action set to feature.