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You are in: SPORTS > Table Tennis > News

Shock exit for second seed Syed

03 August 2002

Crowd pleaser Matt Syed knocked out of the table tennis singles.

Matthew Syed

Matt Syed was defeated by Duan Yong Jun

Controversial number one seed Johnny Huang of Canada, who walked off court with his men's doubles partner over a service dispute yesterday, had an easy passage to the semi-finals of the men's singles as he beat joint fifth seed Tai Yong Zhang of Singapore in four straight.

But there was a shock for second seed Matt Syed of England. The Commonwealth champion and England number one lost the final three games of his six-gamer against another equal fifth seed Duan Yong Jun of Singapore after losing the first and then leading 2-1.

Yong Jun commented: "It was really tough. The first game we both hadn't yet got into the rhythm. It was anyone's game. But in the second and third games Matt was much better and expecting my moves, He changed his tactics for the fourth."

On playing against Nigeria's Segun Toriola, he added: "I have played him one time before in the 2000 World Championships and beaten him 2-1 in the team event."

Defeats for England's Gareth Herbert and Alex Perry, both in five, meant the end of an English interest in the competition.

There was an epic seventh game, in which Paey Fern Sharon Tan of Singapore beat Canada's Lijuan Geng, 19-17, when each player had set point three times, as she became one of three Singapore players to reach the semi-finals of the women's singles.

Tan commented: "I went in with no expectations. I wanted to do my best with the world's best. Just playing point by point and going forward."

On playing team-mate Li Jia Wei in the semi-final Tan continued: "I never think about that. We know each others' style. I know everything by now."

Tan joins fellow countrywomen Li Jia Wei, the Commonwealth champion and number one seed, who beat New Zealand's Karen Li in four and Jing Jun Hong, who eliminated Australian Miao Miao in seven. But Singapore missed out on complete control of the four semi-final berths when Li Chunli kept the New Zealand flag flying with a 4-1 win over Zhang Xue Ling of Singapore.

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