21 Feb 2017

Hong Kong and Japan shared the spoils as the semi-finalists in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open were decided on the evening of Tuesday 20th February.

Conversely, Singapore suffered.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Impressively, in a most controlled manner, Doo Hoi Kem; the top seed, accounted for Japan’s Miyu Maeda, the no.5 seed (11-8, 11-7, 13-11).

Certainly, it was a challenge for Doo Hoi Kem; earlier in the day Miyu Maeda had come within a hair’s breadth of beating China’s Gu Yuting, the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Women’s Singles champion.

“She plays very fast so it is really important to stay close the table when you play against her, if you go back she plays wide and you have problems. In the third game I was ahead 10-7, I played too safe; then when I was down 10-11, I told myself that I must be really positive and I must play fast”, Doo Hoi Kem

Success for Doo Hoi Kem, the win coming very soon after Hong Kong colleague, Minnie Soo Wai Yam had caused an upset of note.

Occupying the no.6 seeded position in the competition, she accounted for Korea’s Choi Hyojoo, the no.3 seed and during her career, the winner of three ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles titles. On the contrary, as yet, that distinction has to befall Minnie Soo Wai Yam.

Victory against the odds for Minnie Soo Wai Yam; it was the same for the Japanese duo of Saki Shibata and Kyoka Kato. They ended the hopes of Singapore; both emerging successful in full distance duels.

Saki Shibata, the no.4 seed, seeking to execute her favoured forehand topspin stroke at every opportunity, overcame Lin Ye, the no.7 seed (11-8, 11-13, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7); by the very narrowest of decisions, Kyoka Kato, the no.8 seed, ended the aspirations of Zeng Jian, the no.2 seed (13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9).

Similar to Choi Hyojoo, both Lin Ye and Zeng Jian are strangers to ITTF World Tour Under 21 Women’s Singles success. Zeng Jian has won four such titles, whilst Lin Ye has emerged the champion three time and in addition has twice secured the top step of the podium at the Grand Finals.

At the semi-final stage, Doo Hoi Kem meets Saki Shibata; Minnie Soo Wai Yam opposes Kyoka Kato.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Qatar Open Saki Shibata Doo Hoi Kem Minnie Soo Wai Yam Kyoka Kato

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