Feng Tianwei earned a third consecutive semi-final appearance at the table tennis Women's World Cup after outlasting Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Kobe, Japan.
The Singaporean world No. 4 prevailed 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 in a clash which often saw her being tested by the same ninth-ranked opponent she had beaten in straight games last year in the London Olympics bronze medal play-off.
Said Jing Junhong, head coach of the national women's table tennis team, in a telephone interview: "Tianwei's problems today were due to errors made while serving and receiving. She had just lost to Ishikawa (at the Asian Cup in April) so, psychologically, it wasn't easy for her.
"But you could see Tianwei's maturity later on in the match when she stayed calm even when her opponent had the lead."
Feng will need to get past China's world No. 8 Wu Yang today to earn a first final appearance in six attempts at the annual event.
The 27-year-old, who has often had a tough time playing defensive players like Wu, has beaten the Chinese only once in three meetings on the International Table Tennis Federation circuit.
In the most recent clash last month, she lost 0-4.
Jing believes that it will be crucial for Feng to bank on any chance she gets to attack Wu.
She said: "Wu Yang has improved remarkably recently and hasn't had many losses. "It's going to be a very tough fight but we'll just have to try."
Meanwhile, team-mate Yu Mengyu's campaign ended after failing to upset defending champion Liu Shiwen of China.