by Ian Marshall ITTF Publications Editor
Jeon Jihee gave Korea the ideal start by beating Elizabeta Samara in three straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-7); matters were levelled when Daniela Dodean overcame the defensive skills of Suh Hyowon in an impressive manner (11-6, 11-9, 11-9).
“Her forehand top spin in very good, against Samara you must try to play the first attacking stroke.” Suh Hyowon
Matters level, the doubles went in favour of the tried and trusted partnership of Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun in a four games contest against Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Bernadette Szocs (12-10, 9-11, 13-11, 11-8).
“It was difficult to return service; this was my first match in the tournament, they kept playing towards my forehand.” Yang Haeun
The balance in favour of Korea, Elizabeta Samara gained parity for Romania by overcoming Yang Haeun in a four games duel (11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9); that set the scene for Suh Hyowon and Bernadette Szocs to decide the outcome.
Defence versus attack was the order of proceedings; a dramatic duel ensued; Bernadette Szocs secured the opening game, Suh Hyowon won the next two, before Bernadette Szocs clinched the fourth on her third games point. A deciding fifth game beckoned.
An electric atmosphere, at the change of ends in the fifth game, Bernadette Szocs held a vital 5-3 lead.
Suh Hyowon levelled at 6-all; again at 7-all it was parity before combining defensive strokes with top spin attacks, Suh Hyowon played in a faultless fashion to win the next four points and secure victory (13-11, 12-14, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9).
“I just tried to focus on what I had to do and not think about the score. In the last match in the fifth game I tried to make as many changes as possible, sometimes defend, sometimes attack” Suh Hyowon
At quarter-final stage Korea meets Singapore; in the same half of the draw China opposes DPR Korea.