by Simon Daish
Heading into day five of the 2016 Austrian Open Japan’s Mima Ito was the highest seeded player left in the Women’s Singles competition, and the No.2 seed Ito has lived up to her minimum goal in guaranteeing herself a top two finish after she sealed her spot in the final.
Mima Ito has often been hailed as one of the most exciting upcoming talents in the sport having picked up ITTF World Tour gold medals and holding the honour of being the youngest Table Tennis player to claim an Olympic medal at Rio 2016, and now the Japanese star will have the opportunity to add another trophy to her collection following her 4-1 semi-finals success against Honoka Hahsimoto at the Open in Linz.
Right from the start of the last four tie Ito was performing at the top of her game making full use of her attacking prowess, and Haishimoto struggled to keep up with the fast paced rallies as Ito stormed into a 3-0 lead.
There looked to be brief glimpses of a potential fightback from Hashimoto when she managed to pull game four back in her favour, but Ito just had too much for the No.19 seed and a victory in the fifth end gave Ito the match (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10).
Next up for Ito is the challenge of facing Yui Hamamoto in the final; Hamamoto was involved in a thrilling encounter with Choi Hyojoo in the top half of the semi-finals draw in a match that required the deciding game before seeing Hamamoto edge over the line ( 11-4, 11-8, 3-11, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-9).
Regardless of the final result there is one assurance: the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hybiome Austrian Open Women’s Singles champion will come from Japan.
Sunday 13th November: Women’s Singles – Main Draw