By Neha Aggarwal
Matches in the top half of the draw were played in the afternoon session.
Smooth run: Ding Ning made her appearance in Women’s Singles round of 32 match against Korea’s Yang Haeun, the 2015 Mixed Doubles World Champion. The recently crowned World Champion won in four straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9).
World no.3 Zhu Yuling, the silver medallist at the Liebherr 2017 World Championship in Düsseldorf out staged Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto (11-8, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5) to move the round of 16. After her win, she said:
“I have never played against her in the past, I think when playing against a chopper what’s better for me to do is to focus on myself. As long as I stay patient and focus on the match, it’s alight. In the second set, I was 10-5 ahead, but my opponent quicken her steps and adjusted her attacking way, so she came back from 10-10. I was unable to adjust quickly in that situation. Although I have already played two matches today, I feel I’m still not 100% into the match. I must adjust my condition as fast as possible for tomorrow’s match. My performance is normal today. This time in Chengdu I will focus on every match, and try to play as well as I was in WTTC.” Zhu Yuling
Japan’s deadly trio: Teenage sensations Miu Hirano and Mima Ito, World ranked no.8 and no.10 respectively showcased pure dominance in this bright Thursday afternoon in Chengdu. Mima Ito beat Singapore’s Zhou Yihan (11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8), score line being a true reflection of her having a smooth run.
Likewise, Miu Hirano knocked out world no. 38 Jiang Huajun of Hong Kong in a five game win (11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6). Hirano has a focused mind, she is not competing in the Women’s Doubles event, and thus fueling all her energies for the singles. After her win she explained why,
“After World Championships, I played the Japan Open and now I am playing China Open, I do feel a bit tired, but I still performed well, so I’m feeling good now. And I’m happy to win the match. I didn’t pair with Kasumi Ishikawa in women double because after China open I’m heading to Australia open. Playing four tournaments in such short time would be tiring. That’s why I didn’t play women double this time. ”- Miu Hirano
Defender Hitomi Sato, ranked no.10 in the World was too strong for Austria’s Sofia Polcanova. Despite long rallies in each game, she won in four games (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 14-12), to move to the round of 16.
Chen Meng survives: Yes, down two against Korean defender Suh Hyowon, crowd favourite Chen Meng survived the horror. She won (8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8,15-13,12-10). Notice the score line, Chen Meng won the last two games 15-13 and 12-10. In such close margins, she was the better off with less unforced errors. However, the match was certainly a treat for the fans!
Netherlands’ Li Jie, ranked no.21 in the global charts, too survived against Japan’s Minami Ando winning (11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 6-11,6-11,11-4, 11-7).
Round of 32 matches in the lower half of the Women’s Singles will be played at 18:00 hrs local time. Watch LIVE on tv.ittf.com.