17 Sep 2016

Every once in a while a shock defeat happens in Table Tennis, and the world number one player Liu Shiwen very nearly suffered a surprising upset in the Round of 16 at the 2016 SheSays China Open after a stunning performance from her lower ranked opponent.

by Simon Daish

Marina Matsuzawa of Japan was Liu Shiwen’s opponent in the last 16 as the number 22 seed took on the top seed. However, as Liu would soon discover seeding positions don’t always determine the difficulty of the opposition.

Game one indicated that it would only be a matter of time before Liu booked her quarter-finals spot, but Matsuzawa was no pushover and she showed her technical ability to level the scores at 1-1.

Both players claimed alternating game victories and after six ends neither of the two rivals could be separated (3-3) resulting in a deciding game to be played.

Despite all of her valiant efforts, Matsuzawa couldn’t find enough to cross the finishing line (11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6) as Liu Shiwen narrowly avoided an early defeat.

“When I led, I felt easy. But later I began to meet some difficulites. The opponent is strong and she once beat Feng Tianwei. She has not attended the World Tour often, so I am not familiar with her style.” – Liu Shiwen (China).

Zeng Jian completed the double over Doo Hoi Kem (Hong Kong) as the Singapore player added a Women’s Singles last 16 victory to the previously captured Under 21 win in the final.

3-0 was the score in the Under 21 final and funnily enough another straight games win was registered in Zeng and Doo’s Women’s Singles match, with the former of the two names picking up a 4-0 victory. Zeng Jian will face Liu Shiwen on day four.

Germany’s Shan Xiaona is keeping the European dream alive following her seventh game win over Yui Hamamoto (Japan).

Shan had been leading 3-2 on games in the match but Hamamoto was hitting the ball well and managed to force one last end by taking game six. Was an upset around the corner? Unfortunately not for Yui Hamamoto as Shan Xiaona squeezed through (6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7).

The next match for Shan Xiaona (sixth seed) is a dreaded encounter with Ding Ning (second); in both of their previous two meetings Ding has been successful and at last year’s China Open, Shan lost out to the Chinese competitor 0-4.

Defending champion Zhu Yuling (China) has kept her name in the hunt for the 2016 trophy defeating Singapore’s Zhou Yihan in five ends, and Yang Haeun is up next for Zhu after the player from Korea Republic saw off Lee Ho Ching (Hong Kong) 4-3.

Latest Results

Friday 16th September: Women’s Singles – Main Draw

World Tour China Open liu shiwen Marina Matsuzawa