SEAMASTER 2019 ITTF WORLD TOUR SHINAN KOREA OPEN
Thursday 4th July
Cho Seungmin delights, causes major upset
A member of a most promising group of aspiring players from the host nation, on Thursday 4th July at the Shinan 2019 ITTF World Tour Korea Shinan Open in Busan, Cho Seungmin was very much the player in focus.
Required to qualify, in the opening round of the men’s singles event, he caused a major upset; he beat Japan’s Koki Niwa, the no.9 seed (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6); the win somewhat atoning for the defeat suffered by colleague Lee Sangsu, the no.7 seed. He was beaten by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas (8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7).
A surprise defeat for Lee Sangsu; it was the same for Japan’s Jun Mizutani and India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. Jun Mizutani, the no.10 seed, was beaten by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas (11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7), Sathiyan Gnanasekaran by Spain’s Alvaro Robles (11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7).
Surprises but not amongst the very top names; China’s Fan Zhendong, the top seed, emerged successful but he endured testing times. He was stretched the full seven games by colleague Xu Chenhao (5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-9). Somewhat differently life was less exacting for colleagues Xu Xin and Ma Long. Xu Xin beat Japan’s Yuki Hirano (11-6, 11-1, 11-2, 11-4), Ma Long ended the hopes of Takyu Jin, also from Japan (13-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4).
Similarly, for Tomokazu Harimoto there were no great heartaches; he overcame Sweden’s Jon Persson (11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 11-7).
Success for China in the men’s singles event, it was very much the same in the women’s singles competition.
Ding Ning avenged the defeat suffered at Seamaster 2018 Grand Finals, she accounted for colleague He Zhuojia (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8). Chen Meng, the no.2 seed and Wang Manyu the no.3 seed asserted their authority. Chen Meng beat Japan’s Honami Nakamori (11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8). Wang Manyu, the no.3 seed, ended the hopes of India’s Manika Batra, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion (11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11).
Likewise, Liu Shiwen, the no.4 seed and current world champion, emerged successful but she was tested; she needed six games to beat Japan’s Hina Hayata (11-5, 14-16, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5); defending champion, Zhu Yuling, the no.5 seed, made a positive start; she overcame compatriot Liu Weishan (11-9, 11-4, 13-11, 12-10).
Wins as anticipated but there was one surprise, Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki emerged the only qualifier to succeed; she accounted for the host nation’s Suh Hyowon, the no.10 seed (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6). Defeat for Suh Hyowon means that just one player from the host nation remains in the women’s singles event. Jeon Jihee, the no.15 seed, beat Japan’s Miyu Kato (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6).
To be continued
By Ian Marshall, Editor
Photo Credit: ITTF