2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open
Wednesday 12th – Sunday 16th February
Titles for Japanese women in Lisbon
Japan dominated the female events at the 2020 ITTF Challenge Plus Portugal Open in Lisbon, play concluding on Sunday 16th February.
Kasumi Ishikawa won the won singles event, Satsuki Odo joined forces with Saki Shibata to secure the women’s doubles title; Maki Shiomi emerged the under 21 women’s singles champion.
The top seed, in the later rounds, Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Britt Eerland of the Netherlands, the no.9 seed (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 13-11, 13-11) to book her place in the semi-finals alongside colleagues Miyu Kato, the no.4 seed and Saki Shibata, the no.7 seed, the one interloper being Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tzu.
Eventually, after losing the opening two games, Kasumi Ishikawa overcame Miyu Kato, the no.4 seed (5-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8) to reserve her place in the final where Saki Shibata, the no.7 seed, awaited. Imposingly Kasumi Ishikawa prevailed in four straight games (11-6, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9).
Notably, Saki Shibata was a player in form; at the quarter-final stage she had beaten Germany’s Shan Xiaona, the no. 16 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6) and surprise third round winner in opposition the Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seed and also from Japan (11-5, 11-9, 11-1, 11-5). Good form en route to the quarter-finals, it was good form in the next round; she overcame Cheng Hsien-Tzu, the no.13 seed in five games (11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 12-10).
Alas for Saki Shibata, Kasumi Ishikawa emerged a step too far; a second ITTF Challenge Series women’s singles title was secured, the first having been last December in Canada.
Disappointment for Saki Shibata but there was more than consolation; she partnered Satsuki Odo to women’s doubles gold. The no.3 seeds, the pair accounted for Thailand’s Orawan Paranang and Suthasini Sawettabut in the final (11-5, 11-4, 11-8). Thus they secured their seven such title and now head the all-time lists; they are one ahead of colleagues Honoka Hashimoto and Hotomi Sato.
Success for Japan; earlier in the week, there had been mixed fortunes. Shunsuke Togami was beaten in the final of the under 21 men’s singles event by Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko (8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 3-11, 12-10). Conversely, Maki Shiomi who had won the previous week in Spain made it consecutive titles; in the final she overcame Daria Trigolos of Belarus (11-4, 11-3, 10-12, 11-3).
Runners up spot for Shunsuke Togami, in the men’s doubles it was the same outcome for Korea Republic’s Baek Kwangil and Park Chan-Hyeok. They suffered the same fate as the previous week in Spain when being beaten in the final by Iran’s Nima Alamian and Noshad Alamiyan. In Lisbon they experienced defeat at the hands of the host nation’s Diogo Carvalho and João Geraldo (12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5).
Meanwhile, Germany’s Qiu Dang won the men’s singles event overcoming Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa in the final (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8); in all French mixed doubles title decider, Emmanuel Lebesson and Yuan Jia Nan accounted for Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier to secure the top prize (12-10, 11-7, 11-3).