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Friday, July 07, 2000, updated at 18:45(GMT+8)

Upsets Feature US Open in ITTF Pro Tour

The 2000 US Open/ITTF Pro Tour was unveiled in the Southern American coastal city with a string of upsets highlighted the second round matches on Thursday.

Olympic and world champion Liu Guoliang of China became the victim of highest-ranked player in the tournament, the penultimate leg of the ITTF Pro Tour prior to the Olympic Games after the fourth-ranked pen-holder was beaten by 30th-ranked Iseki Seiko of Japan 11-21, 21-17, 19-21 and 20-22.

However, Liu, who arrived here late Tuesday, was neither the first nor the last victim of upsets as Peter Karlsson and Jorgen Persson, both of Sweden, were eliminated by Evgueni Chtchetinine of Belarus and compatriot Fredrik Hakansson. Karlsson was beaten 8-21, 21-17, 15-21, 21-19 and 17-21 and Persson lost the match 15- 21, 21-17, 21-14, 20-22 and 19-21.

Zoran Primorac of Croatia was the other victim when he was toppled by Koji Matsushita of Japan 21-7, 17-21, 13-21 and 13-21. All the victims received their first round byes as they were trying to accumulate points in the world ranking prior to the Olympic Games slated for September 15 in Sydney.

However, Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium prevailed over South Korea's Lee Chul Seung 21-19, 21-16 and 21-14, Jan Ove Waldner of Sweden defeated another South Korean Sang Eung Oh 17-21, 21-17, 21- 17 and 21-16, and Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus conquered Chang Yuan-Su of Chinese Taipei 21-11, 21-13, 19-21 and 21-14.

Apart from Liu Guoliang, other five Chinese men paddlers all made the last 16 although both Yan Sen and Ma Lin were being extracted to full sets.

Top-ranked Kong Linghui lost the first set 18-21 before sweeping three sets in a row for his slot in the last 16. The Chinese shakehander defeated Yoo Seung Min of South Korea 18-21, 21-15, 21-12 and 21-16.

The 23rd-ranked Yan Sen was even clawed back two sets after winning the first two before managing a narrow victory in the decider against Toshio Tasaki. Yan prevailed the 33rd-ranked Japanese 21-13, 21-12, 15-21, 18-21 and 21-17.

Second-ranked Wang Liqin also squandered his first set 20-22 before beating Adrian Crisan of Romania 21-18, 21-10 and 21-17, fifth-ranked Ma Lin of China beat Muneaki Mitamura of Japan 20-22, 21-9, 19-21, 21-5 and 21-16, and Liu Guozheng defeated Matthew Syed of England 21-18, 13-21, 21-15 and 21-17.

However, the Chinese women paddlers have their easy victories as all the four entries made the third round after byes in the first round.

Top-ranked Wang Nan savored her opener victory 21-16, 21-18 and 21-11 over Csilla Batorfi of Hungary, second-ranked Li Ju nipped Rie Tsujimoto of Japan 21-17, 21-9 and 21-13.

Fourth-ranked Sun Jin conquered Eun Sil Lee of South Korea 21-7, 14-21, 21-17 and 21-17, and eighth-ranked Yang Ying dismissed Xu Jing of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-13, 18-21 and 21-16.

Also advancing to the last 16 included Chen Jing of Chinese Taipei, Ni Xialian of Luxemburg and Li Jiawei of Singapore.

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The 2000 US Open/ITTF Pro Tour was unveiled in the Southern American coastal city with a string of upsets highlighted the second round matches on Thursday.

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