Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour, Hang Seng Hong Kong Open
Friday 7th June
Wang Yidi causes biggest upset but Japan very much in ascendancy
Winner of the under 21 women’s singles title one year ago in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, China’s Wang Yidi was the player to cause the biggest upset as play progressed at the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour Hang Seng Hong Kong Open on Friday 7th June.
In the second round of the women’s singles event, she beat Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed (11-6, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9) to emerge the only Chinese player to reserve a quarter-final place.
Sun Mingyang and Feng Yalan both suffered at teenage Japanese hands; Sun Mingyang was beaten by Mima Ito, the no.2 seed (11-5, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5), Feng Yalan by Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed (11-4, 11-7, 15-13, 11-5). Similarly, for the one further Chinese second round representative, it was a second round exit; He Zhuojia, the no.12 seed and runner up at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching (2-11, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8).
Farewell to one leading name; in the second round of the men’s singles event, the major challengers for honours progressed.
China’s Lin Gaoyuan, the top seed, beat colleague Ma Te (11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9), also from China Liang Jingkun, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of Germany’s Benedikt Duda (5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7). Comprehensive wins, it was the same from Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed; he overcame Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, the no.15 seed (11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8).
However, for Germany’s Timo Boll, life was rather different; the no.4 seed, he needed the full seven games to beat Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura (7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).
Outcomes as expected but there was one upset of note; China Zhou Yu, required to qualify, accounted for the Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5).
The quarter-finalist known and for the hosts not a Hong Kong player in sight; in the second round of the men’s singles event Wong Chun Ting, the no.13 seed, was beaten by Sweden’s Mattias Falck, the no.7 seed (11-5, 10-12, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9), at the same stage of the women’s singles competition, Doo Hoi Kem, the no.6 seed, lost to Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.14 seed (11-5, 11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-7).
Similarly in the men’s doubles event it was disappointment for Hong Kong; Ho Wan Kit and Wong Chun Ting, the top seeds, experienced a semi-final defeat at the hands of China’s Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan, the no.5 seed. In the final the Chinese duo meets the Korea Republic’s Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, the no.3 seeds.
Meanwhile, for Wong Chun Ting it was the scenario in the mixed doubles, partnering Doo Hoi Kem, the top seeds, they suffered a penultimate round defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seeds (6-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-1, 11-5). Just as in the men’s doubles final a Korea Republic pairing awaits. Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching face Lee Sangsu and Choi Hyojoo in the title decider.
A semi-final defeat for Hong Kong, in the women’s doubles it was the stage at which the host’s one remaining pair departed; Ng Wing Nam and Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.2 seeds, experienced defeat at the hands of Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yo Eunchong, the no.4 seeds (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7. In the title decider, China’s Chen Ke and Mu Zi await.
The final of the mixed doubles event in addition to the quarter-finals and semi-finals of both the men’s singles and women’s singles competitions will be played on Saturday 8th June.
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF