Ai Fukuhara and Kasumi Ishikawa strolled through their womens’ doubles semi-final with consummate ease as they brushed aside their Korean opponents.
This coming after the Chinese pairing of Gue Yue and Li Xiaoxia had earlier shown the way with a similarly efficient demolition of Singaporean pair Lia Jiawei and Wang Yuegu 4-1.
Fukuhara and under-21s champion Ishikawa raced out of the blocks in spectacular fashion to assert their dominance over the Koreans Seok Ha Jung and Yang Ha Eun.
Mixing great speed in their shots and fleet-footed movement around the court with their seemingly intuitive understanding, they blitzed their opponents in the first game to take it 11-3.
If Jung and Eun believed they would get some respite in the second game they were well mistaken as they were again convincingly blown away 11-2, which gave the Japanese pair a 2-0 lead. The sheer precision of the pair somewhat subdued the crowd who were wowed by the one-sided nature of the ‘contest’.
The third game was a much closer affair with the Koreans leading throughout only for Fukuhara and Ishikawa to fight-back and win it 11-8. However, with the same story following in the fourth game (Korea leading before Japan fight back to lead 10-8) Jung and Eun managed to win four consecutive points to at least get themselves on the board at 3-1.
It was to be their only success though as the Japanese women struck home in the fifth with Yang going long for the Koreans on match point. That sealed a 4-1 (11-3, 11-2, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8) victory.
The final therefore, will be a China versus Japan affair with both pairs clearly the strongest in the tournament. That match begins at 18:00 tonight and you can watch it and follow it live (as with all our other matches today) on ITTF or the ETTA Twitter and Facebook accounts.