by Simon Daish
Last year’s final featured a superb defensive display from Wu Yang, who left Berlin as the deserved champion but now the title will be passed on to another after Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa avenged her previous defeat against the Chinese star with a strong performance (11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3) to reach the last four.
“Actually I didn’t make any special preparations against her prior to the match, but I think my mentality was very good today. I knew I was the underdog in the match so I have to fight my best for every chance… I definitely never thought that I could win 4-0! Tomorrow against Zhu Yuling, I will play with the same mentality to challenge her”, Kasumi Ishikawa.
Next up for Kasumi Ishikawa is a tie with world no.1 Zhu Yuling after the top seeded player negotiated her quarter-finals fixture with a competent performance against fellow countrywoman Wang Manyu.
Beginning the match with a perfect 11-0 start Zhu Yuling went on to add three further game wins to her name, advancing through to the next stage of the event with a four games to two victory (11-0, 13-11, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8).
The lower half of the draw hosted a significant exit as Japanese teenage ace Mima Ito suffered a surprise defeat across five games at the hands of Feng Yalan (11-6, 11-13, 4-11, 7-11, 9-11), who entered the race as a participant in the three-day qualification tournament which preceded the event in Magdeburg.
While Feng Yalan emerged from her last eight encounter with little difficulty the same could not be said for her upcoming opponent Chen Meng who narrowly avoided elimination against qualifier Chen Ke.
Second seed Chen Meng booked her place in the penultimate round in dramatic style, claiming the seventh game by the narrowest of margins (9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 14-12) to bring Chen Ke’s fantastic Women’s Singles journey to a close.
“It was a tough match, she created lot of problems for me on the court. I think the entire match was very close throughout especially when I was 2-3 down… My belief and faith kept me fighting hard in the match, when I was 7-10 down in the seventh game, I kept telling myself each point could be a turning point”, Chen Meng.