By Neha Aggarwal
Japanese prodigies in action
Ito Mima, the 15 year old world number 11 who was seen training hard on day one, will finally step on the court as she plays Austria’s Polcanova Sofia in the opening match on 8th October. Both the players will compete against each other almost 2 years later today in Philadelphia in the round of 16.
Head to head, they are tied at 1-1. In the qualifying group stage of Under-21 women’s’ singles at the 2014 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, Ito Mima thrashed Polcanova 4-0. However, it the same year in the quarter finals of the Spanish Open, Polcavona beat Ito 4-2. Two years hence, Ito and Polcanova, both have leveled their games up, especially Ito who looks faster on her feet than ever before. The match will be a close contest, played at 14:00 EST.
Ito’s teammate, world number 17, Hirano Miu will be seen in action against Elizabeta Samara at 15:40. The 16 year old, seeded number five in the tournament looked confident when asked about her match against Samara. She beat Samara at Croatia Open earlier this year, however the game was contested in seven sets. Samara is determined this World Cup to lift the crown, especially because of the absence of Chinese and thus she will leave no stone unturned to give her best. Hirano’s quick execution of strokes will be a problem for Samara but given her command on her serves and off the table attacks, its a 50-50 contest.
Petrissa Solja vs Yanfei Shen
The current world number 16, seeded four in the tournament, Petrissa Solja who could not wait to start her matches, will finally step on the court. She has never played against the Spanish veteran Yanfei Shen at the international stage and thus it will be a first timer for both. Yanfei, who announced her retirement post this World Cup, will probably give in her heart and soul to do best today. But the German, who won the silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games is a fierce left handed attacker and the rotations in her loops might cause problems to Yanfei. Petrissa who had her own moments of fame in Germany when she posed for the Playboy magazine prior to the Olympic Games, is looking to have a thunderous performance at Philadelphia will play her opening match at 14:50 EST.
Lily Zhang back in action
USA’s Lily Zhang is back in action on day two against Taipei’s Cheng-I-Ching in the round of 16. Lily who has not yet competed against the mighty Cheng, will need to step up her game today. Cheng is a poker faced brutal attacker who has a lot of rotation in her loops. Lily needs to find timings to get her own attacks going and must be strong with her defense as Cheng loves initiating her own attacks. The winner between the two will play against Austria’s Liu Jia in the quarter finals to be played at 19:50 EST.
ESPN broadcast starts today
The day is finally here as world leader in Sports media, ESPN will step its foot in covering table tennis LIVE in the US. All the four quarter final matches will be live on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. Matches start at 7pm EST!
With all the quarter final matches to be played today, we will have the final four who will compete tomorrow for the crown of the Seamaster 2016 ITTF Women’s World Cup here in Philadelphia.