China unbeaten at World Team Table Tennis Championships

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Xu Xin of China returns the ball to Eric Jouti of Brazil during the Men's Group B third round match of 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, on April 30, 2018. Xu Xin won 3-0, and team China defeated team Brazil with 3-0. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese men's and women's teams, both reigning champions, remained unbeaten after the first three rounds of the group stage of the 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden on Monday.

The Chinese men's team swept Brazil in the evening, after snapping up a 3-0 win against the Czech Republic in the morning.

In order to secure the first place in Group B, China sent its most experienced trio Fan Zhendong, Ma Long and Xu Xin. But the match turned out a easy win for the defending champion, with three players routing their opponents by 3-0.

"This was a important match for us, because Brazil beat Portugal in the morning," said China coach Liu Guozheng with satisfaction about his players' performance.

Hugo Calderano, who beat Chinese Lin Gaoyuan at Qatar Open last month, said that he is happy with his performance as Ma Long is the best player in the world.

"I just hope I can keep improving," added the 21-year-old.

The Chinese women's team took on No. 9 seed Russia in the afternoon at Venue B of Halmstad Arena. World top ranked trio Wang Manyu, Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen swept their teenage opponents respectively by 3-0, giving China third victory without losing even a single set.

"All the five players have been performing accordingly," said China coach Li Sun after the match, "We are trying to keep our shape for the upcoming matches."

On May 1, China is scheduled for two last and most challenging encounters, the strongest rival in group A Singapore in the morning and the host Sweden in the evening session of the day.

The 19-year-old Wang Manyu said, "we treat every opponent seriously, and next match against Singapore will be a tough one, we have to be scrupulous and careful."

Another Corbillon Cup contender, second seeded Japan has been victorious through three rounds, routing Ukraine, Egypt and Hungary by 3-0.

Japan' s men' s team, ranked third after Germany and China, got their first test by Belarus, led by former world No. 1, 42-year-old veteran Vladimir Samsonov.

Despite a 3-0 victory for Japan, both star players Harimoto Tomokazu and Niwa Koki had to struggle back for the win from a 0-2 deficit.

Later the same day, confronting another strong opponent England, which defeated Chinese Taipei 3-1 in the morning, Japan was left with disappointment.

Liam Pitchford nailed two points, helping his team get on top of the current world No. 3 by 3-1.

"We knew we had a chance, we played them in the world cup in London and last time in Kuala Lumpur, and we were close," Pitchford said after another expected victory, "I got some good tactics and some lucky points, I' m very happy I could win the best players in the world."

Top seeded Germany defeated host Sweden by 3-nil in the third round match of Group A, following a 3-0 victory over Romania in the morning session.

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