BUDAPEST, April 24 -- The world's No. 2 and best penhold player Xu Xin suffered an early elimination at the men's singles but survived a tough mixed doubles quarterfinal at the world table tennis championships here on Wednesday.
Simon Gauzy, France's world No. 34, handed a surprise 4-2 (11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9) defeat to the only Chinese in the second half of the draw, meaning that an all-Chinese final won't be repeated.
Xu, pairing up with Liu Shiwen, came from two sets down to beat South Korea's Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee 4-3 (10-12, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7) and join the mixed doubles semifinals with unseeded Chinese duo Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning, who crushed the Hong Kong team of Ho Kwan Kit and Lee Ho Ching in straight sets.
The other semifinalists are Germany's Patrick Franziska and Petrissa Solja and Japan's Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa.
Gauzy hailed his win over Xu as a highlight of his career.
"To be honest, I cannot describe what I feel right now," admitted Gauzy, who celebrated the victory by throwing his racket away and roaring in front of a cheering crowd.
"I just want to enjoy it tonight, as it doesn't happen so often to beat such a good player. I just want to enjoy it tonight and focus back for tomorrow," he added.
Gauzy disclosed his secret to the win.
"The key was to avoid his forehand, as his forehand is just the best in the world, very spinning and powerful," he said. "My receive was great. I just tried to use different receives."
"I respect him too much. I love to watch his play. I love his touch, feeling, forehand and style. Today I'm just happy to have beaten him," added the Frenchman.
The four Chinese bundled in the first half of the draw all advanced into the round of 16.
Two-time defending champion Ma Long ousted Belarussian veteran Vladimir Samosonov 4-1, while the world top-ranked Fan Zhendong whitewashed Nigeria's Quadri Aruna 4-0.
Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun also went through.
Koki Niwa and Tomokazu Harimoto, both of Japan, remain in contention, while German star Timo Boll beat Japan's Masataka Morizono to move up.
China's five representatives in the women's singles - Ding Ning, Chen Meng, Liu Shiwen, Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha, all advanced into the last 16.
Ma Long/Wang Chuqin, and Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun cruised into the men's doubles quarterfinals.
In the women's doubles, Chen Meng/Zhu Yuling and Wang Manyu/Sun Yingsha both moved into the last eight.
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