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Chinese players enter quarter-finals in GAC final round debut

2014-01-10 10:19 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

The first round of the 32 best players of the GAC Group 2013 World Tour Grand Final of the International Table tennis Federation (ITTF) here on Thursday saw all Chinese players from the women's and men's tournament winning all their matches and heading to the quarter finals on Friday.

The women's world's number one from China Liu Shiwen, winner of the women's world cup in 2009, 2012 and 2012, left Romania's Elizabeth Samara no chance and defeated her 4-1 at the Rashid Bin Hamdan hall of Dubai's Al Nasr Sports Club.

Left-handed Ding Ning from China, silver medallist at the Olympics in London 2012 and currently the world's number two, won in four straight sets over Jiang Huajun from Hong Kong, China. Ding said that the match was not easy for her but "so and so". Surrounded by crowds of fans, Ding patiently gave autographs and shared a chat with the fans attending the GAC tournament.

London Olympic gold medallist Li Xiaoxia from China defeated Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong 4-2. The other Chinese female players who made it to the quarter finals on Friday were Zhu Yuling, who beat Russia's Maria Bykova 4-0 and Zhao Yan, who won 4-3 against Seo Hyowon from South Korea.

A fierce battle in a long lasting neck and neck took place between Russia's Maria Dolgikh and Singapore's Feng Tianwei, in which Singaporean won 4-3.

In extra game to honor the host country United Arab Emirates, Majd Alblooshi lost 4-0 to Russia's Maria Bykova. Alblooshi admitted that she felt the lack of training because she just finished her exam in architecture.

In the men's round of the best 16 players, the world's number one Ma Long from China was victorious in 4-1 against Japan's Chan Kazuhiro. Zhang Jike, the only reigning men's singles world champion to win Olympic men's singles gold, defeated Taku Takakiwa from Japan 4-1.

Wang Hao, currently the world's number four, left Japan's Koki Niwa no chance and won 4-1, too. Fan Zhendong from China, ranked number 5 in the world's global ranking, scored a 4-2 victory against Eugene Wang from Canada. Thursday's last match was decided by Xu Xin, who won 4-1 over Chuang Chih-Yuan from Chinese Taipei.

In the tournament's first sensation, Germany's Dimitri Ovtcharov, ranked the world's number six, lost in a neck and neck battle against South Korea's Kim Minseok, who is ranked number 27, in 4-3.

A total prize money of one million dollars will be distributed, represented the highest total prize money in table tennis, according to the ITTF. The finals of the women's and men's singles will take place on Sunday, Jan. 12.

The tournament involves all best players from the GAC Group 2013 World Tour, which comprised 19 events in 18 countries and regions during 2013.

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