Table Tennis: Lin Ye, Zhou Yihan upset China's top paddlers in doubles at Japan Open

Lin Ye (left) and Zhou Yihan at the 28th SEA Games.
Lin Ye (left) and Zhou Yihan at the 28th SEA Games.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Table tennis doubles partners Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan gave the Singapore team a reason to celebrate at the Japan Open on Saturday, a day after a series of disappointing results in the singles event.

The duo scored an upset over China's world No. 1 and No. 2 pair Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, beating their second-seeded opponents 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 in the doubles semi-finals to earn a place in the final.

Lin and Zhou are ranked No. 49 and No. 65 respectively on the International Table Tennis Federation world rankings. The SEA Games doubles champions had earned a place in the semi-finals after beating Hong Kong's seasoned players Lee Ho Ching and Tie Yana in the quarter-finals 12-10, 6-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-9.

They will face another China pair, Liu Fei and Wu Yang in the final on Sunday.

Lin, in a phone interview from Kobe where the tournament is held, told The Straits Times: "Playing against such highly-ranked players, we never felt any pressure. We just wanted to do our best and see where that takes us."

Team-mates Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu, however, were beaten in their quarter-final. The top-seeded pair lost to Hong Kong's Doo Hoi Kem and Jiang Huajun 8-11, 9-11, 20-18, 7-11.

maychen@sph.com.sg