by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Delightful footwork, the defensive skills of Suh Hyowon are the basis of her play, it is the style for which she is renowned but it was her transformation into an attacking player that saved the day.
Facing two match points in the deciding game, she stayed close to table, attacked at the earliest opportunity and maintained the aggression to totally change the rhythm of the play and secure the point.
“I thought that if I just kept defending then Feng Tianwei would feel confident, so I decided to change and attack, not play with backspin. I didn’t feel tense; I just said to myself keep going, keep fighting.” Suh Hyowon
The win means that Suh Hyowon finishes in third place in the group and thus progresses to the play-off round; the winners of that round gain quarter-final places.
Alas for Feng Tianwei, it was her third defeat; thus the end of the road. Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed, finished in first place in the group ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu, the no.12 seed. Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for Chen Szu-Yu in three straight games (11-6, 11-9, 11-9) to claim top spot.
One upset as matters concluded in the initial phase of the Women’s event; there was one more. Doo Hoi Kem, the no.9 seed, beat Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed (10-12, 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7).
In the same group, China’s Zhu Yuling, the top seed, concluded her first stage contests by causing Singapore more heartaches. She accounted for Yu Mengyu, the no.10 seed (11-6, 11-5, 11-6). Thus it was quarter-final places booked for Zhu Yuling and Doo Hoi Kem, a place in the preliminary round for Miu Hirano; the end of adventures for Yu Mengyu.
First place for Zhu Yuling, it was the same for colleague, Liu Shiwen, the no.2 seed, who concluded matters ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching and Korea’s Yang Haeun. In the matches the brought matters to an end, Liu Shiwen beat Lee Ho Ching, the no.11 seed (3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9); Cheng I-Ching, the no.6 seed, overcame Yang Haeun, the no.7 seed (11-4, 11-5, 13-11).
Meanwhile, the regional group, to the delight of the home supporters, Manika Batra accounted for Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut in five games (11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8) to secure first position and thus a place in the preliminary round, In the counterpart contest, Iran’s Neda Shahsavari beat Qatar’s Aia Mohamed (11-5, 11-6, 11-9).
In the preliminary round, Manika Batra meets Miu Hirano; Suh Hyowon confronts Lee Ho Ching.