27 Aug 2016

The top seeds in both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open in Panagyurishte duly reached the penultimate round, after quarter-final success on Friday 26th August.

However, that was not the situation for the name of the player next in line in the order of merit.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

In the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, Japan’s Misuki Oikawa duly justified his exalted status; in the round of the last eight he overcame Denmark’s Claus Nielsen (14-12, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4).

Different scenario

Success for Misuki Oikawa but for his colleague, Yuto Kizukuri, it was a very different scenario, he was beaten in the opening round by India’s Ravindra Kotiyan (11-7, 3-11, 11-5, 12-10).

Alas for the 19 year old Indian there was no further progress, he was beaten in the very next round by Austria’s David Serdaroglu (11-6, 11-7, 11-6) who, in turn at the quarter-final stage experienced defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei’s Sun Chia-Hung, the no.5 seed (13-15, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9).

“Some of the players at the tournament are very good. I defeated Yuto Kizukuri from Japan but I lost to David Serdaroglu from Austria and that was unsatisfying. I found the receiving and blocking difficult in my last match. During the match against Kizukuri I left more comfortable. The Austrian had more power, I was a little tense, I was not ready.” Ravindra Kotiyan after losing to David Serdaroglu

Enzo Angles

One somewhat surprise semi-finalist in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event; there was one more. At the quarter-final stage, Frenchman Enzo Angles, the no.9 seed, overcame Yang Tzu-Yi, like Sun Chia-Hung, also from Chinese Taipei (11-9, 11-1, 11-8).

In the semi-final round, Enzo Angles meets Misuki Oikawa; Sun Cheng-Ting opposes colleague Lia Cheng-Ting. The no.3 seed, Liao Cheng-Ting booked his place in the last four courtesy of success against Korea’s Kim Minho (11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Differing fortunes

Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, Miyu Kato, the top seed, accounted for colleague Maki Shiomi (11-8, 11-5, 11-9) to book her place in the last four.

However, for colleague, Miyu Maeda, the second seed, there was no such reservation.

She was beaten in the opening round by Romania’s Irina Ciobanu (11-6, 12-10, 11-9); success for Irina Ciobanu but the success was short-lived, in the very next round, the quarter-finals, she experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s Saki Shibati (12-10, 5-11, 11-6, 12-10).

“I didn’t play well in my last match; I don’t know what happened to me. I’m satisfied with my play in the previous rounds. Sakura Mori is a good player, she is ranked higher than me and I played well against her, nothing surprised me. She was very quick, all Japanese are quick; that makes it difficult.” Manika Batra after losing to Sakura Mori

All alone

A semi-final place for Saki Shibata, it is the same for colleague Sakura Mori, the no.3 seed; she overcame India’s Manika Batra to reserve her place in the last four (11-8, 11-2, 12-10).

In the penultimate round Sakura Mori meets Miyu Kato; Saki Shibata opposes Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the one non-Japanese player to reach the last four. In the round of the last eight, she overcame Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut (11-4, 13-11, 11-9).

“The tournament is really good, I was here last year, so I came back this year, because I liked it very much and I think there is a very good level. I’m not very satisfied with my game in the Women’s Singles, I lost against Maki Shiomi from Japan, I had beaten her before. In the Under 21 Women’s Singles I’m playing well. Maki Shiomi was very good she moves very quickly, that was hard for me, I tried to play more with spin.” Adriana Diaz after beating Jinnipa Sawettabut

Titles decided

Play in both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events conclude on Saturday 27th August.


World Tour Bulgaria Open Miyu Kato Yuto Kizukuri Miyu Maeda Misuki Oikawa