by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
On the early afternoon of Friday 10th November, the no.4 seed, she was beaten by Feng Yalan, the player who at the 2010 ITTF World Tour German Open had won both the Women’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles titles. Miu Hirano was beaten in six games (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4).
Defeat for Miu Hirano but let us not forget she is only 17 years old; there is a danger we expect too much.
However, for her compatriot, Mima Ito, the no.5 seed, the player with whom she won the Women’s Doubles title at the GAC Group 2014 ITTF World Tour German Open, both 13 years old at time, there was success against a Chinese adversary. She beat Gu Yuting in a hard fought seven games duel (7-11, 17-15, 3-11, 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-5).
“I lost to Gu Yuting four years ago at the World Junior Championships; this is the first time I have won against her so I’m very very happy. Gu Yuting is a very strong opponent with her spin; she plays with a lot of power, I’m very happy to win this match.” Mima Ito
Success for Japan against China; there were two more such victories as the second round of the Women’s Singles event progressed. Hitomi Sato, the no.10 seed, accounted for Wang Yidi (12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6), Hina Hayata, the no.13 seed, overcame Sun Mingyang (11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8).
“I’m happy to beat Sun Mingyang four-two today. She beat Yang Haeun four-nil in the group stage, so my coaches and I watched the video footage last night to find out more about her.” Hina Hayata.
Defeats for aspiring Chinese players but there were successes and notable successes; in particular the efforts of Li Xiaodan caught the eye. She beat Singapore’s Feng Tianwei, the no.6 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9), whilst Chen Ke balanced the books against Japanese opposition by overcoming Honoka Hashimoto, the no.11 seed (8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10).
Pertinently, in the two remaining opening round matches in the lower half of the Women’s Singles draw it was success as expected. Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the 16th highest rated player on duty, caused Japan more heartaches by overcoming 15 year old Miyu Nagasaki (115, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7); as predicted China’s Chen Meng, the no.2 seed, ended the hopes of Austria’s Liu Jia, the winner in 2008 when the German Open was held in Berlin.
In the lower half of the draw in the second round of the Women’s Singles event, Feng Yalan meets Doo Hoi Kem, Hina Hayata plays Mima Ito. Meanwhile, Li Xiaodan opposes Chen Ke, Hitomi Sato confronts Chen Meng.
The matches will be played later in the day.