2015 World Team Cup
China Supreme but No Shortage of Upsets in Dubai
There was no stopping China on the second day of play, Friday 9th January, at the 2015 World Team Cup in Dubai but there were surprises as places in the semi-final stage were sought and thus a step on the medal podium guaranteed.
The first surprise of the day, even though somewhat minor, came when Brazil (Caroline Kumahara, Gui Lin and Jessica Yamada) beat Australia (Melissa Tapper, Michelle Beaumomt, Miao Miao) by three matches to one in the concluding group stage contest of the Women’s event.
Brazil had started proceedings as the ninth seeds, as opposed the Australians who were listed one place higher and had reached the quarter-finals two years earlier in Guangzhou.
Success for Brazil but against Japan (Yuka Ishigaki, Misaki Morizono, Sayaka Hirano) it was a three-nil quarter-final defeat, the Brazilians made one change to their line-up. The experienced Ligia Silva replaced Gui Lin.
No surprises where Japan, the second seeds, were concerned; similarly China (Liu Shiwen, Chen Meng, Ding Ning) posted a three-nil win in opposition to Romania (Adina Diaconu, Elizabeta Samara, Camelia Postoaca).
Likewise, in the contest involving Singapore (Yu Mengyu, Feng Tianwei, Isabelle Siyun Li) and Hong Kong (Lee Ho Ching, Jiang Huajun, Doo Hoi Kem), matters went according to seeding with the third seeds beating the fourth seeds in a full five match encounter.
The heroine of the hour for Singapore was Isabelle Siyun Li. She overcame Lee Ho Ching in a tense five games duel to secure a three-two Singaporean success.
Three results in the round of the last eight of the Women’s event as seeding predicted but there was one verdict that went against the odds. DPR Korea (Kim Hye Song, Ri Myong Sun, Kim Hye Song) overcame Germany (Kristin Silbereisen, Petrissa Solja, Sabine Winter) by three matches to one.
At the semi-final stage China meets Singapore, DPR Korea opposes Japan.
Meanwhile, in the quarter-final round of the Men’s event, only one contest progressed as seeding predicted. Top seeds, China (Zhang Jike, Fan Zhendong, Ma Long) beat Brazil (Gustavo Tsuboi, Hugo Calderano, Thiago Monteiro), the eighth seeds, by three matches to nil.
The remaining three contests witnessed surprises.
Austria (Stefan Fegerl, Robert Gardos, Daniel Habesohn), the seventh seeds, accounted for Germany (Ruwen Filus, Steffen Mengel, Bastian Steger), the second seeds, by three matches to nil; as did Chinese Taipei (Chiang Hung-Chieh, Chen Chien-An, Huang Sheng-Sheng) in opposition to Korea )Jeong Sangeun, Kim Minseok, Kim Donghyun).
However, spare a thought for Korea, the fourth seeds, every match was decided in five games; Chinese Taipei started matters as the sixth seeds.
Comprehensive wins; for Portugal (Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia, João Monteiro), the reigning European champions and the fifth seeds in Dubai it was not the situation. They won the closest of duels against Japan (Yuto Muramatsu, Yuya Oshima, Masataka Morizono), the third seeds.
Portugal emerged successful in the most dramatic fashion; the score in the fixture level at two matches apiece, João Monteiro saved two match points in the deciding fifth game of the crucial fifth match against Yuto Muramatsu.
In the penultimate round China meets Chinese Taipei, Austria opposes Portugal.
All semi-finals will be played on Saturday 10th January.