Chinese table tennis men’s team will fight against South Korea in the semifinals after crushing France 3-0.
TOKYO, August 2 (Xinhua) – Defending champions China booked a table tennis semi-final against South Korea at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after beating France 3-0 on Monday, but the world’s first fan Zhendong reached a full set against Simon Gauzy.
Started with 6-2 Fan, who lost to second Chinese Ma Long in the men’s singles final, lost his first set against the Frenchman by 12-10.
After pulling back a set of 12-10, Fan was kept under pressure thereafter, and could barely play his own strong advance while feeling uncomfortable in his rivals’ backhand.
After 6-0 and 10-2 in the third, the 24-year-old denied six set points in a row before returning a decisive backhand in the net to lose 11-8.
The game came to a turning point in the next set when Fan managed fewer errors in backhand and more effective pre-attacks to level 2-2 with an 11-5 fourth set win.
He soon took control of the game with a flying start despite a late comeback from Gauzy after reducing his lead from five points to 9-7.
Fan then claimed two points in a row to nail down the decision at 11-7 and came out the final winner at 3-2.
Newly crowned singles champion Ma Long collaborated with Xu Xin to win the first point for China with a 3-0 victory over Alexandre Cassin / Emmanuel Lebesson, and Xu played Lebesson again in the third match, also at 3-0.
The Chinese trio will next play South Korea in the semifinals after the latter secured a last four place with a 3-0 victory of strong rivalry against Brazil.
World No. 12 Jang Woo-jin led the squad, beating Brazil’s highest-ranked Hugo Calderano in a surprisingly simple style 3-0, and Jeoung Young-sik did twice, including a 3-2 triumph over Gustavo Tsuboi.
The lower half of the men’s team will play two quarterfinals on Tuesday, with Japan against Sweden while Chinese Taipei will play against Germany.
In women’s play, Japan will face China’s Hong Kong in the semifinals after the hosts crushed Chinese Taipei 3-0 and Hong Kong’s squad defeated Romania 3-1.
The Chinese women’s team will compete for a semi-final place against Singapore on Tuesday afternoon where the opponents will be decided between South Korea and Germany.