Feng loses in singles quarters, but guaranteed of a medal in doubles
Singapore's top-ranked paddler Feng Tianwei suffered heartbreak yesterday when she lost in the quarter-finals of the women's singles event at the World Table Tennis Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The world No. 4 was defeated 4-0 (11-5, 11-2, 18-16, 11-5) by Japan's 17-year-old Miu Hirano in their last-eight clash.
Earlier, Feng had narrowly edged out world No. 62 Kristin Silbereisen 4-2 (11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11) to progress to the quarter-finals.
The world championships alternate between individual and team events every year.
On four previous occasions (2009 to 2015) Feng has participated in the individual World Table Tennis Championships, she has failed to win a medal in the women's singles event.
Hirano was the youngest-ever winner of the Women's World Cup last year and the Asian Championships last month, defeating China's world No. 1 Ding Ning and No. 2 Zhu Yuling en route to the Asian title.
The Japanese world No. 8 proved too much for 30-year-old Feng to handle, powering to one-sided wins in the first two sets.
The Singaporean paddler raised her game in the third game, but a service error at a crucial point cost her dearly.
Feng will now focus on the women's doubles event, where she and compatriot Yu Mengyu beat the Taiwanese pair of Chen Szu-yu and Cheng I-ching 4-2 (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8) in the quarter-finals earlier yesterday.
The world No. 14 duo are assured of at least a bronze medal, as losing semi-finalists are awarded a bronze at the tournament.
It will be their third consecutive piece of silverware in the women's doubles in this competition, after placing third and fourth in 2015 and 2013 respectively.
Feng and Yu will play China's Zhu Yuling and Chen Meng in the semi-finals on Monday.