Chinese qualifier Wang Manyu claimed a hugely surprising victory over top-seeded compatriot Zhu Yuling to secure her place in the women’s singles final at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Australian Open in Gold Coast.
The two-time junior world champion triumphed 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 having earlier overcome fellow Chinese qualifier Chen Xingtong by an equally comfortable scoreline of 11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 at the Carrara Indoor Sports Stadium.
Awaiting her in the final is countrywoman Chen Meng, the player against whom she experienced defeat in the final of the Qatar Open in February.
Chen secured her place in the final today by beating team-mate Gu Yuting 11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7.
She also defeated Chinese opposition in the quarter-finals, overcoming Zhang Qiang 11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8.
In the men’s singles competition, unseeded South Korean Cho Seungmin knocked out top seed and defending champion Jun Mizutani of Japan before losing to France’s Simon Gauzy in the semi-finals.
Cho beat Mizutani 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 11-4, but his run was ended by a 5-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 13-15 defeat at the hands of Gauzy.
Gauzy had earlier defeated Japan’s Masaki Yoshida 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4.
Standing between him and the title is fourth-seeded Belarusian Vladimir Samsonov, who beat Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 in the quarter-finals and England’s Paul Drinkhall 11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7 in the semi-finals.
Samsonov has now reached a men’s singles final in all five continents of the world.
The only other player to achieve the feat is Austria’s Werner Schlager.
Action in Gold Coast is due to conclude tomorrow.