by Simon Daish
Taking on Asuka Sasao, who had been one of the surprise packages of the Women’s Singles tournament leading up to the quarter-finals, Kasumi Ishikawa knew full well that she could be set for a difficult match and that her opponent should not be underestimated.
Kasumi Ishikawa managed to come away with an early advantage in the tie, claiming the opening game by a four point margin but the top seed was pushed much closer by Asuka Sasao across the remainder of the fixture.
The action was intense and on another day Sasao could have easily been the victorious player, displaying an air of confidence throughout the match.
However, by the conclusion of the fourth game it was Ishikawa who was the happier of the two competitors (11-7, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9).
Kasumi Ishikawa’s spot in the penultimate round of the Women’s Singles has been booked, but her opponent in the last four may come as somewhat of a surprise.
Third seed Hitomi Sato made a shock exit at the quarter-finals stage of the competition, losing out to the eighth seeded player Miyu Kato in the morning session of play.
The match turned out to be a closely fought encounter between Sato and Kato but ultimately there could only one victor and it was the latter player who was left celebrating, claiming the win across five games (12-10, 10-12, 11-1, 11-9, 11-7).