by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Winner of the Under 21 Women’s Singles title the previous day, Minami Ando continued her good form to beat Singapore’s Yu Mengyu, the no.6 seed, a player who was returning to duty having not competed on the international stage since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Impressively Minami Ando succeeded in five games (12-10, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 12-10).
A fine performance by Minami Ando; it was a very disciplined display by Honoka Hashimoto. She emerged successful against fellow defender, the host nation’s Suh Hyowon, in a six games contest that required the Expedite Rule to be invoked.
Defeats for Singapore and Korea; in the two remaining contests held at the start of the Women’s Singles opening round, it was the reverse scenario, defeats for Japan. Feng Tianwei, the top seed, flew the flag for Singapore, she beat Saki Shibata (11-5, 11-5, 14-12, 11-7); Yang Haeun delighted the home fans by overcoming Ayami Narumoto (11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-3).
Success for Yang Haeun, defeat for Suh Hyowon; it was the very same at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Doubles event.
Yang Haeun in partnership with colleague Jeon Jihee, the top seeds, beat Japan’s Miu Hirano and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.8 seeds (8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-5); Suh Hyowon in harness with Kim Kyungah experienced defeat at the hands of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the no.3 seeds and also from Japan (11-4, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11).
At the semi-final stage Hina Hayata and Mima Ito meet Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun; in the opposite half of the draw Germany’s Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja confront Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching.
Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja, the no 5 seeds, secured their place in the penultimate round courtesy of success against Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan, the no.4 seeds (11-6, 11-6, 11-8); Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching overcame colleagues Huang Yu-Wen and Wang Yi-Ju, the no.7 seeds (11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).