by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It was the end of the road for the three qualifiers, India’s Manika Batra, Korea’s Jo Eunchae and Japan’s Eka So, the players who had caused opening round upsets.
Furthermore, impressive performances were the order of proceedings with Choi Hyojoo being the one player to experience major difficulties. She recovered from the brink of defeat in the fourth game to beat Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the no.7 seed (11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 15-13, 11-8).
Otherwise, command performances were on view.
Maki Shiomi, the no.2 seed, beat Ji Eunchae, like Choi Hyojoo from Korea (11-5, 11-6, 11-4), whilst Saki Shibata, the no.3 seed, accounted for colleague Eka So (11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6).
Meanwhile, Sakura Mori, the no.4 seed, halted the aspirations of Manika Batra and thus repeated the success enjoyed earlier in the year when they had met at the same stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the Asarel 2016 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open Panagyurishte.
Impressively, on that occasion Sakura Mori had won in three straight games (11-8, 11-2, 12-10).
At the semi-final stage, in the top half of the draw Choi Hyojoo meets Saki Shibata, in the lower half Maki Shiomi faces Sakura Mori.
The penultimate round contests will be played on the late afternoon of Friday 18th November; the final is scheduled for the following day.