Top seed and defending champion Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany made a shock exit from the International Table Tennis Federation’s Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte today.
A day after China’s reigning Olympic champion Ma Long had been knocked out in the first round by Britain’s Liam Pitchford, Ovtcharov, the world number four, was beaten 9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 6-11 by China’s Peifeng Zheng at the Arena Asarel.
Pitchford’s glory was bright but shortlived as he lost his round-of-16 match 7-11, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 7-11 to China’s Ma Te.
Second-seeded Xu Xin of China made his way through to the quarter-finals after a hard-fought match against Japan’s Yuya Oshima, winning 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8.
Wang Yidi also won a marathon match against Chinese compatriot Liu Xi to earn a place in the women’s semi-finals.
Wang won the first two sets 11-9, 11-5, but her opponent won the next two 11-7, 11-9.
Once again Wang took the lead with an 11-8 set; once again Liu responded, drawing level at 3-3 thanks to an 11-9 scoreline.
Wang secured her progress with an 11-6 win in the seventh and decisive set.
In the other women’s quarter-final played tonight, Hungary’s Georgina Pota saw her impressive winning run ended as she was beaten 11-9, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7 by Japan’s Hitomi Sato.
The remaining women’s quarter-finals will take place tomorrow morning.
Japan’s top seed and defending champion Kasumi Ishikawa meets China’s Rio 2016 champion Ding Ning.
Japan’s Miu Hirano, the world number eight, plays China's Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Liu Gaoyang, absent from the international scene for a while and who announced her return to the global arena here by coming through the qualifying rounds.