by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Kasumi Ishikawa beat colleague Miu Hirano, the no.5 seed, in four straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-2); the win coming after Feng Tianwei had ended the adventures of Chinese Taipei qualifier, Chen Szu-Yu in a rather more closely contested duel.
Feng Tianwei needed six games to secure victory (11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 3-11, 11-6).
Success for Kasumi Ishikawa meant that she reversed the decision of the Japanese National Championships staged earlier in the year when she had been beaten by Miu Hirano in the Women’s Singles final.
Maybe for Miu Hirano it was a tournament too far; when the Women’s Singles event commenced at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships, with the might of China present, few would have predicted Miu Hirano would have emerged as the champion. It has been an exacting two weeks for the 17 year old.
Defeat for Chen Szu-Yu but she can most certainly take heart from her efforts in Incheon.
Beaten by Feng Tianwei but it is against the more experienced Singaporean, Feng Tianwei is 30 years old as opposed to Chen Szu-Yu who is 23 years old, that the progress of the young lady from Chinese Taipei can be measured.
It was the seventh time in international competition the pair had met; on every occasion Feng Tianwei has prevailed; however, Chen Szu-Yu is ever closer.
Last year at the Nakheel 2016 Asian Cup in Dubai, in the initial stage with matches best of five games, Feng Tianwei secured victory in four games. Now in 2017, the contests have proved more testing.
Just over one week ago at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships in Wuxi, in the third round of the Women’s Singles event, Chen Szu-Yu was beaten by Feng Tianwei by the very narrowest of margins in a five games contest (15-13, 3-11, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11).
In Incheon Chen Szu-Yu proved a most worthy opponent and gave Feng Tianwei a more severe examination than when they had met in the second round of the Women’s Singles event at the 2011 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe. On that occasion it had been a five games outcome (11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 5-11, 11-8) and perhaps there is a good omen for Feng Tianwei; in Kobe she progressed to win the Women’s Singles title.
The final of the Women’s Singles event will be played on Sunday 23rd April.