Xu Chenhao during the first phase of "The 12 Strongest Players on Earth" game in Shenzhen, China, January 2, 2020. (File photos: VCG)
Table tennis world No.2 Xu Xin suffered an unexpected defeat in the hands of fellow Chinese Xu Chenhao 4-0 in men's singles quarterfinals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics simulation tournament in Linshui, south China's Hainan Province on Wednesday.
Despite winning the mixed doubles title with rising star Sun Yingsha earlier this week, Xu Xin was not in good shape in the quarters match and his usually unforgiving forehand failed to help him to an upper hand on his opponent with a same family name.
While 25-year-old Xu Haochen, ranked far below at No. 101 in the world, showed excellent speed and strength throughout the tie and clean-swept Xu Xin 11-4, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7. Xu Xin was was the only Chinese Olympic champion left at the tournament, after Chinese national team's captain Ma Long withdrew from the game two days ago due to injuries.
Xu Haochen admitted he did not expect to defeat second-seeded Xu Xin.
Xu Chenhao during "The 12 Strongest Players on Earth" game in Shenzhen, China, March 3, 2019.
"I lost to him 2-4 last time, so I hoped that I could play better this time. I am well prepared and I will fight to the end. The result greatly boosts my confidence, as I regard Xu Xin as my big brother, and I have almost never won over him in any major competition before," Xu said after the game.
First-seeded Fan Zhendong won an uneasy match over world No. 133 Yu Zhiyang, to earn a place in the semi-finals.
In the women's singles title race, Wang Manyu beat Gu Yuting 4-2, setting up a semi-final face-off with Chen Meng.
Elsewhere, Wang Yidi secured an impressive six-game victory over Chen Xingtong, while Sun Yingsha outclassed Liu Fei 4-0.
The women's singles semi-finals and final will be held on Thursday.