China-U.S. pair enters semifinals at World Table Tennis Championships



Mixed doubles pair Lin Gaoyuan from China and Lily Zhang from the U.S. advanced to the semifinals at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships in Houston, U.S. on Saturday. All-Chinese duo Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha also booked a seat in the mixed doubles semifinal.

Later, in the women's doubles quarterfinals, Sun and teammate Wang Manyu overcame a Japanese duo 3-2 to enter the last four.

The China-U.S. duo defeated French duo Emmanuel Lebesson/Alexandre Cassin 3-1 (11-9/9-11/11-7/11-7). However, Zhang admitted during post-match interviews that she became nervous and hasty in the second set and thus lost their lead after losing the set.

"Both him (Lin Gaoyuan) and the coaches reassured me to play freely, and play my game, point by point," said Zhang.

The Chinese female paddlers took up all four spots in the singles semifinals, thus securing all the medals in the category for China. Tokyo Olympic champion Chen Meng will face teammate Wang Manyu, while runner-up in Tokyo Sun will play against seventh seed Wang Yidi.

With only Chinese female paddlers on the roster, the finals will mark the 14th consecutive edition that China nabs top honors in the world table tennis championships.

Sun, 21, had a busy match day, advancing in three events, including the mixed doubles, women's doubles and women's singles. Her intense schedule continues, as she will play in all three semifinals on Sunday.

On the men's side, world No. 1 Fan Zhendong defeated teammate Lin 4-1 to set up a men's singles semifinal against compatriot Liang Jingkun, who beat Brazil's Hugo Calderano 4-3 coming back from three sets down.