MACAO, April 21 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 Fan Zhendong of China was stunned by France's Alexis Lebrun in the men's singles quarterfinals at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Champions Macao on Friday, the fifth day of the weeklong tournament.
With a sensational 3-2 victory over Fan (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9), the 19-year-old Lebrun became the first European player to defeat Fan since Dimitrij Ovtcharov's 3-2 victory at the WTT Cup Finals Xinxiang 2022 last October.
Lebrun set the tone early on and relied on his unforgiving pace to raise the tension inside the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion until the end.
"I feel amazing! He's the World No.1. He played very, very good, so I think I did amazing today and reached my peak service game," said Lebrun after the match.
Ranked at No.1050 in the World as recently as January 2022, World No.22 Lebrun has enjoyed an astonishing rise to prominence over the past 15 months.
Another giant awaits Lebrun on Day 6 with double Olympic champion Ma Long, who advanced to the semifinals after beating Hugo Calderano of Brazil in straight games 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.
Calderano overextended his reach in game two of the high-intensity match and fell to the floor in pain, but he managed to return to his feet.
Defending champion Wang Chuqin of China fought hard to defeat South Korea's Jang Woojin 3-2 (9-11, 11-3, 13-15, 11-8, 11-7), while third seed Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan edged Slovenia's Darko Jorgic 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7).
In the women's singles quarterfinals, Chinese players landed sweeping victories to claim all the places in the last four.
World No.1 Sun Yingsha steamrolled Romania's Bernadette Szocs 11-6, 11-3, 11-7, while Olympic champion Chen Meng overwhelmed Japan's Hina Hayata 11-3, 11-7, 11-2.
Elsewhere, second seed Wang Manyu saw off her compatriot Qian Tianyi 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6), and world No.3 Wang Yidi posted a straight-games win over Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei 12-10, 11-5, 11-5. ■