Published: 09:41, April 19, 2023 | Updated: 09:55, April 19, 2023
Top Chinese paddlers advance at WTT Champions Macao
By Xinhua

Chen Meng of China hits a return during the women's singles round of 32 match against Doo Hoi Kem of China's Hong Kong (not in photograph) at the WTT Champions Macao 2023 in Macao, south China, April 18, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

MACAO - China's star paddlers Ma Long, Wang Chuqin, Wang Manyu and Chen Meng won the round of 32 matches for men's and women's singles at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Champions Macao 2023 on Tuesday, the second day of the weeklong tournament.

In the men's singles, Ma Long defeated Nigeria's Quadri Aruna 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8), but the multiple Olympic champion had to fight neck and neck in the third and fourth games.

"It was a difficult match. His strength, performance and quality of attacks all put much pressure on me. Besides forehand balls, he also played backhand balls very well today," Ma said.

In the men's singles, Ma Long defeated Nigeria's Quadri Aruna 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8), but the multiple Olympic champion had to fight neck and neck in the third and fourth games

Second seed Wang Chuqin saw off Andrej Gacina of Croatia 3-0 (11-5, 15-13, 11-4) despite having to battle through the second game.

Third seed Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan came out on top in a roller coaster five-game thriller against China's 18-year-old Lin Shidong 9-11, 11-1, 15-13, 9-11, 11-5.

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Sweden's Anton Kallberg and Mattias Falck, Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany, and Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei also secured their tickets to the men's singles round of 16.

In the women's singles, Romania's Bernadette Szocs made the headlines again with a stunning 3-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-3) win over 7th seed Chen Xingtong of China, adding another Chinese star to her list of upsets after her astonishing 3-2 win over Chen Meng at WTT Champions Macao 2022.

Wang Chuqin of China celebrates scoring during the men's singles round of 32 match against Andrej Gacina of Croatia (not in photograph) at the WTT Champions Macao 2023 in Macao, south China, April 18, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

World No 2 Wang Manyu started her chase for a second WTT Champions title with a straight games win over World No 12 Sofia Polcanova of Austria 11-7, 11-8, 11-5.

World No 2 Wang Manyu started her chase for a second WTT Champions title with a straight games win over World No 12 Sofia Polcanova of Austria 11-7, 11-8, 11-5

"We have faced each other several times before, so we are quite familiar. Since she is tall, I had made full preparations for her attack pace and the ball curves," Wang said.

Olympic champion Chen Meng defeated her long-standing rival Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong, China, 11-7, 11-4, 13-11.

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China's Qian Tianyi, Yuan Jianan of France and South Korea's Shin Yubin also made their way into the women's singles round of 16.