15 Nov 2017

Aspiring young players from China, trying to make their mark on the international scene were very much in evidence in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles qualification tournament on Wednesday 15th November, the round that decided places in the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open in Stockholm.

Zhang Qiang in particular impressed, as also did Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam; the common factor being that neither has ever won an ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles title but both beat adversaries with such a distinction.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Right handed, pen-hold grip, Zhang Qiang stands out from the crowd; most impressively she accounted for Korea’s Suh Hyowon, the winner in 2013 in both Poland and Korea whilst in 2015 also emerging successful in Belgium.

Clearly confident, Zhang Qiang prevailed in four straight games (11-8, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10).

A straight games win for Zhang Qiang; it was exactly the same from Minnie Soo Wai Yam. She bear Korea’s Choi Hyojoo, the winner in 2015 in Croatia (14-12, 11-8, 14-12, 11-6).

“After I lost in the second round of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event two days ago I felt really down but I won both my matches in the Women’s Singles group and for sure that gave me confidence. I’ve played Choi Hyojoo twice before, 2015 in Austria and earlier this year in the Under 21 event in Qatar; both times I won. She’s very fast from the forehand, so I kept the ball in her backhand. However, playing my forehand to her forehand down the parallel was effective.” Minnie Soo Wai Yam

Farewell to two ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles winners and it was farewell to two more in the preliminary round of the Women’s Singles event; the difference being that they experienced defeats against players who had enjoyed like success.

China’s Chen Xingtong, who had won earlier this year in Hungary, beat Viktoria Pavlovich of Belarus (11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9), twice a winner; eventually in a gruelling encounter Poland’s Li Qian overcame fellow defender Korea’s Kim Kyungah (11-9, 11-3, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10). Overall Li Qian has three ITTF World Tour Women’s Singles titles to her name; for Kim Kyungah she collected eight such titles in a period between 2002 and 2012.

A place in the main draw for two champions and for one more; Singapore’s Yu Mengyu, the winner in India in 2009, recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Japan’s Miyuu Kihara (7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).

The main draw commences on Thursday 16th November.


World Tour 2017 Seamaster Swedish Open Minnie Soo Wai Yam Zhang Qiang

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2017 ITTF Swedish Open