by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The top seeds, in the round of the last eight pairs, they accounted for the Chinese combination of Gu Ruochen and Zhang Zhao, a partnership competing internationally for the first time (11-9, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8), prior to overcoming the formation of Dora Madaraz, like Georgina Pota from Hungary and Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 11-9, 11-8).
Awaiting in the final is the Japanese pairing of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito. At the quarter-final stage, they ended the last remaining hopes of a place on the podium for the host nation when they accounted for Hana Matelova and the Slovak Republic’s Barbora Balazova, the no.7 seeds. The no.3 seeds Hina Hayata and Mima Ito emerged successful in four games (11-4, 14-16, 12-10, 11-7).
A round of last eight win as anticipated; one round later Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, upset the order of merit. They beat colleagues and top seeds, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato in three straight games (11-3, 11-6, 12-10).
Disappointment for Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato who were in search of their fourth appearance in an ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles final; last year they emerged successful in Australia, Belarus and Austria.
However, this year opponents have found answers to their defensive skills; now three ITTF World Tour appearances as a partnership, on each occasion the top seeds, it is has been a semi-final exit. Last week in Bulgaria, Mima Ito also proved their nemesis when joining forces with colleague Kasumi Ishikawa; earlier in the year, on home turf in Japan, they were beaten by China’s Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha.
Now those results are good news for Hina Hayata and Mima Ito; Chen Xingtong and Sun Yingsha progressed to win the title in Japan, as did Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito in Bulgaria.
The pair Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito beat in the Bulgarian final, a certain combination formed by Matilda Ekholm and Georgina Pota.