China's Fan, Ma advance to semifinals at ITTF Men's World Cup

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WEIHAI, China, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- World No.1 Fan Zhendong defeated Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei 4-2 in the quarterfinals at the ITTF Men's World Cup here on Saturday, while his compatriot Ma Long also advanced to semifinals after beating German Dimitrij Ovtcharov 4-1.

Fan, three-time winner of the World Cup, came from behind to win the first set 12-10, but the fifth seed elevated his offensive quality to pull it level at 11-9.

After Fan won the following two sets 11-2, 11-5, Lin triumphed 11-7 in the fifth set.

The defending champion didn't give any more opportunities for Lin to fight back and dispatched him 11-5.

"Lin is a powerful opponent and I had expected the difficulties of this match. After the match was tied 1-1, I played more actively and confidently to win," said Fan.

Ma managed to grab an 11-9 win in the opening set which saw the lead seesaw.

The Grand Slam winner claimed the following two sets 11-4, 11-7, before Ovtcharov bounced back to win the fourth set 11-7. Ma regrouped himself and established a 5-0 lead in the fifth set, nailing the victory at 11-5.

"After a six-set match this morning, I got quickly into the quarterfinals and became more focused," said Ma.

Chinese paddlers' main rival Tomokazu Harimoto from Japan won over Swedish Mattias Falck 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, setting up a duel with Ma in the semifinals.

Jang Woo-jin from South Korea will challenge Fan in the semifinals, as Jang came out the winner of the last quarterfinals by overcoming his teammate Jeoung Young-sik, 15-13, 11-9, 2-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6.

Starting from the group matches, Jeoung and Jang upset the fourth seed Hugo Calderano of Brazil and seed No. 8 Koki Niwa of Japan respectively in the round of 16. Enditem

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