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Chinese paddlers dominate day 4 matches at WTT 2024 Saudi Smash


Chinese paddlers won all matches of day four at the ongoing WTT Saudi Smash on Tuesday, after four franchise players suffered shock early exits in the singles contention a day ago, including Olympic champion Ma Long.

Three Chinese players reached the women's singles round of 16 on Tuesday. World No. 1 Sun Yingsha eased past Serbian Isabela Lupulesku 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 to set up her next match with South Korean Jeon Ji-hee. Chen Xingtong progressed against Chien Tung-Chuan of Team Chinese Taipei 11-9, 11-9, 11-8. And Qian Tianyi advanced against Austrian Sofia Polcanova 11-7, 13-11, 11-7, and will contest Chen in an all-Chinese quarterfinal match. 

On the men's side, Fan Zhendong showcased his skill with a convincing 11-9, 11-4, 11-4 victory over South Korea's An Jae-hyun, and is scheduled to next face German Patrick Franziska who downed Spain's Alvaro Robles in straight games.

In the men's doubles, top-seeded Ma Long recovered from his defeat in the singles second round and dispatched local duo Ali Alkhadrawi and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi together with teammate Wang Chuqin in a comfortable 3-0 win. They will face the international pair of Jakub Dyjas of Poland and Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium in the quarterfinals.

In women's doubles, top-seeded Chen Meng and Wang Manyu breezed past Romanian pair Elisabeta Samara and Andrea Dragoman 3-0, setting up an all-Chinese showdown against Wang Yidi and Chen Xingtong, who also won their match in straight games over Thai duo Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut.

In the mixed doubles, top-seeded Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha defeated Indian pair Sreeja Akula and Harmeet Desai 3-0 to set up a potentially tough semifinal clash against Japan's third-seeded Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha in action during the WTT Saudi Smash mixed doubles quarter-final round in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 7, 2024. /CFP)

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