by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
She was beaten in six games by Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed (7-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-4, 11-3, 11-2).
Success as status advised and also as past results predicted. They had met on two prior occasions in world ranking events, Kasumi Ishikawa had won both contests; she won in 2013 on the ITTF World Tour at the Harmony Open in China and last year in Slovenia.
“It was a difficult match, it was a hard fight. I´m happy that I won; it was even harder, at the end of the third game I hit with my thumb on the corner of the table. I felt worried at first, I used ice and after three minutes it was better. After that I did not think about it. I will be ready for the next match.” Kasumi Ishikawa
Success for Kasumi Ishikawa and in the immediately ensuing contest it was success for Yui Hamamato and to some extent success contrary to expectations. In an all-Japanese contest, the no.13 seed, she recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Hina Hayata, the no.9 seed (7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5).
Victory contrary to status but not necessarily contrary to history; it was their seventh meeting in the international arena, of the previous six, Hina Hayata had won four times. However, notably it was a reversal of their most previous encounter; Hina Hayata had won when the pair met last December in Doha at the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
Yui Hamamoto now meets Kasumi Ishkawa in the penultimate round; the match is scheduled for later in the day at 7.00pm.