KUALA LUMPUR - Feng Tianwei led Singapore to a convincing 3-1 preliminary-round win over Poland on Tuesday at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Kuala Lumpur to set up a tantalising clash against third seeds Netherlands on Wednesday.
The Dutch suffered a shock 2-3 defeat by 19th seeds France, but can still top the six-nation group if they beat Singapore. Should that happen, both the Netherlands and Singapore will have the same win-lose record (4-1), but the Dutch will go top by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.
The group winners receive a bye into the quarter-finals, while second- and third-placed teams have to play in the round of 16.
As she has done in the Republic's previous three matches, Feng notched two points - in the first and fourth singles - against 12th seeds Poland.
The 29-year-old beat defensive specialist Li Qian (15-13, 7-11, 11-5, 17-15), before winning against Katarzyna Grzybowska (12-10, 11-8, 11-2).
Yu Mengyu won the second singles against Grzybowska 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7. World Championships debutante Zhang Wanling played her second match, but fell to Klaudia Kusinska 4-11, 4-11, 5-11.
Coach Chen Zhibin, who had coached the Netherlands previously, said he was satisfied with the women's performance, noting that Feng and Yu have improved with each tie.
On the match-up against his former team, he said: "I'm optimistic but let's not get ahead of ourselves. It will be a long match against their choppers."
The men's team are also in action. They play Belarus at 7.30pm on Tuesday