by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Only the semi-finals on the agenda on the fourth day of play in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event; Sakura Mori, the no.4 seed, caused somewhat of an upset by beating compatriot Maki Shiomi, the no.2 seed, in three straight games (11-2, 11-2, 11-6).
No doubt the fact that both are members of the same national team and are well known to each counted for nought when seeding was the subject; however, the convincing nature of the victory was somewhat unexpected.
A theoretical surprise, in the opposite half of the draw the outcome was no surprise at all; Korea’s Choi Hyojoo, the top seed, accounted for Saki Shibata, the no.3 seed and also from Japan in four games (11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10).
Meanwhile, in the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, where both the quarter and semi-final rounds were contested, it was defeat in the former for Park Ganghyeon and somewhat against predictions.
The no.5 seed, he was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Liao Cheng-Ting, the no.9 seed who recovered from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful (8-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).
Success against the odds for Liao Cheng-Ting at the quarter-final stage in a full distance duel, it was the very same in the penultimate round; he accounted for Frenchman, Can Akkuzu, the no.9 seed (11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8) to reserve his place at the final table.
Awaiting in the title deciding match is Japan’s Kenta Tazoe, the no.7 seed; in the round of the last eight he beat Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic (11-7, 11-2, 15-13), before at the semi-final stage ousting qualifier Sun Chia-Hung, like Liao Cheng-Ting from Chinese Taipei in straight games (11-8, 11-8, 13-11).
The finals of both the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events will be played on Saturday 19th November.