by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
She justified her position as one of the players who had not been required to compete in the three day qualification tournament; the no.15 seed, she beat Hong Kong’s Minnie Soo Wai Yam in five games (11-9, 11-9, 13-15, 11-7, 11-9).
Throughout the contest, she remained calm and focused, her controlled top spin style of play rewarding her faithful supporters.
“I tried to play just one point at a time, focusing on the match and on nothing else; it was a really tough match. I didn’t know a great deal about Minnie Soo Wai Yam, I’d never played her before.” Matilda Ekholm
Success for Matilda Ekholm, a result that rather overshadowed a most efficient and professional performance from China’s Chen Xingtong; required to compete in the three day qualification tournament, she accounted for Japan’s Miu Hirano, the no.5 seed, to record what was to prove the biggest upset in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event. Chen Xingtong prevailed in five games (6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
“I was nervous before the match, I don’t think I played my best today but also I do not think that Miu was at her best. She is very fast, so I focused very much on playing to the middle of the table.” Chen Xingtong
Defeat for Japan contrary to expectations, it was the same for Hitomi Sato, the no.9 seed; she was beaten by Turkey’s Hu Melek, likewise in a five games contest (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8).
Results against the odds, not for China’s Chen Meng, the no.3 seed; she beat Lee Ho Ching, like Minnie Soo Wai Yam from Hong Kong. She emerged successful in six games against a very spirited adversary (11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5).
In the second round Chen Meng meets Matilda Ekholm, Chen Xingtong confronts Hu Melek; the matches will be played on Friday 17th November