by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Misaki Morizono commenced proceedings as the no.5 seed, conversely Maki Shiomi had to begin matters in the group qualification stage and thus competed on each day of the five day event.
Meanwhile, Yuka Ishigaki occupied the no.2 seeded spot; Miyu Maeda was the no.7 seed.
Members of the same national team, all were well acquainted with each other; notably Yuka Ishigaki and Miyu Maeda being the two players who had ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles to their credit.
Miyu Maeda had won in the Chilean capital city of Santiago in 2014, the only previous occasion that had seen her progress to an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final, let alone final.
Yuka Ishigaki had won in Cairo in 2010 and in Panagyurishte was appearing in her seventh ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final. However, it was only the second time that she had emerged successful.
In Brazil in 2008 and on home soil in Wakayama in 2009, it had been defeat. Later in 2014 she suffered in Belarus, before experiencing the same fate in Hungary and in Spain in 2015.
Meanwhile, for Misaki Morizono, it was her fourth ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final and her third success.
In 2011 in Chile she was departed proceedings in the penultimate round but later in 2014 in both Sydney and Belarus she advanced to the final where runners up spot was her eventual lot.
Previous experience; for Maki Shiomi, who earlier this year advanced to second round in Australia, it was her first career ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles semi-final.