Seiya Kishikawa again defied the World Ranking List as well as a fight-back from second seed Timo Boll (Germany). The World ranked no. 58 sensationally booked his place in the Mens Singles Semi-Finals. Having beaten left-handed World no. nine Chen Qi a round earlier, and having missed out narrowly 3-2 against Timo Boll in the recent World Team Cup the Japanese star was clearly in great form. What’s more it is quite clear he does well against left-handers. 22 year-old Kishikawa became one of the lowest ranked players ever to reach a Pro Tour Semi-Final beating Timo Boll, as he withstood a Boll fight-back in games five and six to win 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6.
Kishikawa’s reward for such a sensational performance is a Semi-Final clash against Olympic Champion Ma Lin (China). The 29 year-old World no. four looked much more like his ferocious best as he blasted his way past Chung Chih-Yuan (Chinese Taipei) 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.
The prolonged applause for the match between top seed Ma Long (China) and Jun Muzatani (Japan) was hugely merited. The match featured some of the most spectacular table tennis most of us have ever seen. The giant Courts could barely contain the sustained aggression of the supremely stylish Japanese star as he captured the first two games 14-12, 11-5 but Ma Long appeared to flourish on the intensity of the challenge he was being set. The former World Junior no. one isn’t an integral part of the Chinese National squad for nothing. The “big” forehand somehow became even “larger” and the top seed won the next four games 11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5.
World no. 39 Xu Xin (China), the new-boy in the Chinese National squad completes the Semi-Finalists and he will face Ma Long tomorrow. Michael Maze (Dewnmark) was his victim on this occasion, in a match in which Xu Xin always looked the more likely winner. The Chinese star triumphed 11-3, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9.
Image: Seiya Kishikawa, courtesytabletennisphotos.com