17 Jun 2017

Defences were thwarted in the semi-final stage of the Women's Doubles at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Lion Japan Open in Tokyo on Saturday 17th June, while a trusted pair fell short in the Men's Doubles.

by Wade Townsend

Top seeds, Japan’s Hitomi Sato and Honoka Hashimoto were unable to parry their way to victory in the semi final Women’s Doubles, going down three-two against China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.

The match looked at being five game thriller, but the Chen and Sun found their forehand form in the final game. The Japanese duo crumbled as China blasted through their defences to take the fifth 11-2 to seal the win.

Hashimoto felt under pressure form the get go.

“As we were playing against a Chinese pair, it felt normal when we were trailing behind them, when we had the lead in the match, we also didn’t feel much of an advantage as they are very strong. We could only fight point by point.” Honoka Hashimoto

The home crowd advantage almost got Japanese pair over the line.

“Though we lost, the cheers from the home crowd was a big encouragement for us during the match, especially when there were good rallies, it really motivated us.” Hitomi Sato

Chen and Sun will face Korea’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun in the final after they defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Cheng I-Ching 3-1 (11-13, 11-3, 9-11, 3-11).

In the Men’s draw the top seeds also had a tough time. Japan’s Yuya Oshima and Masataka Morizono went down to compatriots Maharu Yoshimura and Koki Niwa (11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).

During the match Yoshimura pulled off an unbelievable behind the back trick shot that secured them the point.

“I don’t practise it at all, but I will try it in the game if I have to.” Maharu Yoshimura

The all Chinese matchup Ma Long and Xu Xin had a tidy win against Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan, (11-6, 11-6, 11-9).

Be sure to watch doubles finals tonight, starting at 19:00 local time, on itTV.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Japan Open Sun Yingsha Chen Xingtong Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Cheng I-Ching Jeon Jihee Yang Haeun Chen Szu-Yu

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