26 Aug 2016

No less than 13 players from Japan appeared in the first round of the Women’s Singles event at the Asarel 2016 Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte on Friday 26th August; at the conclusion of the day only two experienced defeat, conversely two caused upsets.

The players to depart were Mariko Takahashi and Yui Amano; the players to spring the surprises were Saki Shibata and Maki Shiomi.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Both defeats were against seeded adversaries, both by very close margins, seven games being required to determine the outcome.

Mariko Takahashi was beaten by Russia’s Polina Mikhailova, the no.4 seed (7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 16-11, 3-11, 12-10, 11-4); Yu Amano experienced defeat at the hands of India’s Manika Batra by the very narrowest of margins (11-13, 11-4, 11-5, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Seeds depart

On the other side of the coin, Maki Shiomi caused the biggest upset of the round by beating Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.11 seed (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-4); whilst Saki Shibata overcame Romania’s Camelia Postoaca, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6).

Two upsets and there was one more but not involving Japan; Russia’s Olga Kulikova accounted for Romania’s Adina Diaconu, the no.16 seed (12-10, 14-12, 11-5, 11-9).

Status prevailed

Otherwise, the Japanese successes were as status advised.

Hitomi Sato, the top seed, beat Emina Hadziahmetovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5), whilst Yuka Ishigaki, the no.2 seed and Miyu Kato, the no.3 seed, both halted Russian progress.

Yuka Ishikgaki accounted for Irina Ermakova (11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5); Miyu Kato defeated Maria Malanina (12-10, 11-6, 11-3, 10-12, 9-11, 12-10).

Lower down order

Meanwhile, slightly lower down the pecking order, there were successes for Misaki Morizono, Honoka Hashimoto, Miyu Maeda and Sakura Mori; listed respectively from fifth to eighth position.

Misako Morizono and Honoka Hashimoto both overcame adversaries from Chinese Taipei; the former beat Lin Chia-Chih (11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6), the latter overcame Lin Po-Huan (11-7, 11-2, 11-8, 11-2).

More impressive performances

Impressive performances from Misako Morizono and Honoka Hashimoto; it was the same from Miyu Maeda and Sakura Mori.

Miyu Maeda defeated Romania’s Irina Ciobanu (14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6), Sakura Mori ended the hopes of Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva (11-1, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5).

Nine overall wins for Japan the two further successes were recorded at the hands of Russia. Marina Matsuzawa, the no.10 seed, accounted for Valeria Shcherbatykh (11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8); Kyoka Kato, the no.14 seed, defeated Olga Voronoba 911-9, 9-11, 5-11, 11-5, 14-12, 4-11, 11-7).



World Tour Bulgaria Open Hitomi Sato Miyu Kato Maki Shiomi Yuka Ishigaki