by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Positive from the start, in a contest littered with breath-taking rallies which suggested table tennis the fastest sport on earth; Suthasini Sawettabut won the first two games but in the third it appeared that Doo Hoi Kem would reduce the deficit.
She led 9-7; she was not to win another point; the next four all went the way of Suthasini Sawettabut, a straight games success was posted (13-11, 11-7, 11-9).
“At the end of the third game I just tried to stay relaxed; during the match I tried to play with control from my backhand and powerfully from my forehand. Also, returning her service I tried to play over the table whenever possible. Yes, I’m really pleased with the win; it’s the first time I’ve ever beaten her.” Suthasini Sawettabut
One surprise name through to the round of the last four; there were two more.
Japan’s Miyu Kato beat Korea Republic’s Kim Kyungah, the player whose defensive skills had ousted Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching, the no.16 seed, one round earlier (13-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9). Miyu Kato emerged successful in a gruelling full distance five games duel decided by the very narrowest of margins (11-5, 5-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Unexpected progress for Miyu Kato; it was the same for DPR Korea’s Choe Hyon Wa; after the previous day beating Hitomi Sato, the no.8 seed and like Miyu Kato from Japan (11-13, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10), she caused Hong Kong more pain. She beat Ng Wing Nam (11-9, 11-6, 11-7).
Surprise names through to the fourth round but no surprises amongst the very elite.
China’s Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen and Zhu Yuling, the respective top three seeds, all booked fourth round places as did Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the next in line.
Ding Ning beat Malaysia’a Ng Sock Khim (11-2, 11-8, 11-5), Liu Shiwen accounted for Iran’s Fatemeh Jamalifar (11-4, 11-1, 11-1), whilst Zhu Yuling defeated Thailand’s Tamolwan Khetkhuen (11-7, 11-5, 11-2).
Not to be overshadowed, Feng Tianwei ended the progress of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu Yu (15-13, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11).