by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the penultimate round of proceedings, Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed, accounted for colleague, Yui Hamamoto, in three straight games (11-6, 12-10, 13-11, 11-9), before in one game more, Mima Ito, the no.3 upset the pecking order by beating Germany’s Han Ying, the no.2 seed (11-5, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-5).
Success and it was a repeat of the most recent previous meetings in world ranking events.
Kasumi Ishikawa and Yui Hamamoto had met on just one prior occasion; they confronted each other at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour Kuwait Open; as in Olomouc, Kasumi Ishikawa had won in four straight games.
“It was not easy to win. In the third game, I was losing 4-8. If she had won this game, it would have become more difficult to win the match with the score two-one. I am very happy that I won this match.” Kasumi Ishikawa
Meanwhile, Mima Ito and Han Ying had confronted each other on two prior international occasions, both on the ITTF World Tour. In 2015 in Germany, Han Ying had won but more pertinently, last December, at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Doha, the decision in their first round Women’s Singles meeting had gone in favour of Mima Ito.
“I am happy that I won this game but I am very tired and out of breath. I like playing against defensive players. I think the third game, which I won 12-10, was decisive for the result of the whole match.” Mima Ito
The title deciding contest will be played on the afternoon of Sunday 27th August; the finals schedule is due to start at 12.00 noon; the Women’s Singles final follows the Women’s Doubles and Men’s Doubles finals.