by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Following success for Cheng I-Ching, the no.6 seed and in the same group as Liu Shiwen, against Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching, the no.11 seed (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-7), Chen Szu-Yu, the no.12 seed, accounted for Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.5 seed, a player with special memories of India.
Two years ago when the tournament was staged in Japiur, Feng Tianwei stood proudly on the top step of the podium when matters concluded; furthermore in prior contests Feng Tianwei had always beaten Chen Szu-Yu. In Ahmedabad in her opening contest it defeat by the narrowest of decisions (6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9).
“I did not quite enter into the match rhythm at the beginning and made a lot of unforced mistakes but I kept adjusting my condition. I did not do well with my backhand but I tried making changes all the time and finally I found ways. Feng Tianwei today also made a lot of unforced mistakes in the match.” Chen Szu-Yu
The success came after Zhu Yuling and Liu Shiwen, the respective top two seeds, had made the most positive starts; straight games wins were the order of the day. Zhu Yuling beat Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem (11-6, 11-1, 11-4), Li Shiwen accounted for Korea’s Yang Haeun (11-5, 11-6, 11-2)
“I made a lot of preparation for the first match. The format of the best of five requires me to enter into the match rhythm very quickly. I am satisfied with my performance for this match. I did quite well dealing with crucial points.” Zhu Yuling.
Comfortable wins, for Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed who is in the same group as Chen Szu-Yu, life was more testing; she needed the full five games to overcome the defensive skills of Korea’s Suh Hyowon (5-11, 13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7).
Pertinently, in the same group as Zhu Yuling, Japan’s Miu Hirano accounted for Singapore’s Yu Mengyu (11-4, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9). The two meet in the next contest, Zhu Yuling looking to avenge the defeat experienced earlier in the year in Wuxi at the Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships.
“I think my draw is good. The sooner I play her, the better it is for me. She is very young and I am also very young, so we not only meet here in Asian Cup, we will also meet a lot of times in the future events. I will take every encounter seriously. I will back to hotel, rest for a while. Today I have three matches to play; just play one match at a time.” Zhu Yuling.
One upset, in the fourth group, the one with players from the regions, matters advanced according to status.
Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut beat Iran’s Nada Shahsavari (11-9, 11-6, 11-9); the host nation’s Manika Batra accounted for Qatar’s Mohamed Aia (13-11, 11-8, 11-7).