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.