SINGAPORE - The two powerhouses are both in transition after the retirement of veteran stalwarts.
Today, the progress of the Singapore and South Korean women's teams will come under the spotlight when the two nations face off in a Group C clash at the World Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
The winners will almost certainly top the group and receive a bye to Friday's quarter-finals.
Both teams have perfect records after three matches - Singapore beat both Russia and Holland 3-1 yesterday - and are joint top of Group C with six points each.
Singapore head coach Jing Junhong insisted her team will be the underdogs today.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, she said: "We will definitely be the underdogs as they are higher-ranked than us now. But we will just go out there and give it our best shot."
South Korea are ranked world No. 2, behind mighty China, while Singapore are fifth.
But Jing was heartened by the way her players performed yesterday, especially in the win over world No. 8 Holland.
Singapore No. 1 and world No. 7 Feng Tianwei delivered the Republic's first point in the opening singles when she beat Holland's Li Jie 11-5, 11-9, 11-9. Compatriot Yu Mengyu was stretched to five sets in the second singles but squeaked through 5-11 11-8, 11-3, 9-11 11-7 over Li Jiao.
Debutant Isabelle Li, ranked 159th in the world, fought hard against her higher-ranked opponent, but fell 10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 5-11, 9-11 to Britt Eerland.
Feng (above) then confirmed victory for Singapore with a 8-11 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 win over Li Jiao.