by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Eventually Doo Hoi Kem succeeded, she recovered from a three games to one deficit to secure victory by the very minimal margin (8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9).
“I rushed too much at the start I wanted to play with high quality; then I had to calm myself down. I said to myself keep thw ball on the table. In the final game at 9-7 I believed I could win just I had to remind myself what to do.” Doo Hoi Kem
Testing times for Doo Hoi Kem, it was the same for Austria’s Sofia Polcanova, the no.8 seed; she had to withstand a spirited recovery from Poland’s Natalia Partyka in order to reserve her second round berth. Eventually, to her credit she remained focused to secure a seven games win (11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6).
Problems for two seeds but not for the other leading names with China very much in evidence; Chen Meng, the top seed, set the example. She beat Russia’s Olga Vorobeva in five games (11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5) making intentions very clear that she is focused on maintaining her current position as the no.1 ranked female player on planet earth.
“This was my first match; I feel I played well and I controlled the match. I started preparing for the next round so I tried a few things as well during the match.” Chen Meng
“It was very difficult to playing against her; most shots she played were of a very high quality; the speed of the game was also on a high level. I am happy with my performance and I even won a game! I have had a good tournament here in Hungary.” Olga Vorbeva
Similarly, Wang Manyu, the no.6 seed, accounted for Romania’s Adina Diaconu (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5, before in a likewise impressive manner.
“I played my game as usual, good serves lot of rotation and fast speed; this was enough today.” Wang Manyu
“I found her service game the hardest during the match. I could not return them well enough. She controlled the match all the way.” Adina Diaconu
Good form from Wang Manyu, it was the same from colleague, Chen Xingtong, the no.9 seed, she overcame the defensive skills extolled by Poland’s Li Qian (11-3, 11-4, 11.2, 11-9).
“I had to play with a lot of thought.” Chen Xingtong
“I was not hundred percent fit for the match I picked up a small injury during warm up; against such a high level player you need to be at your best to have a chance.” Li Qian
Defeat for one backspin artiste but for another there was success, Li Jie of the Netherlands, the no.4 seed, proved too solid, too safe and too reliable for Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam (11-9, 11-4, 11-6, 11-1).
“It was hard to respond to her variations of spin: I could not read the spin well enough. I will have to practise more against this style in order to be successful next time.” Ng Wing Nam
Wins as status predicted but there were two upsets as proceedings in the first round of the Women’s Singles event commenced.
Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.10 seed, was beaten by China’s He Zhoujia (11-6, 11-1, 11-9, 11-5); Hungary’s Szandra Pergel suffered at the hands of Romania’s Bernadette Szocs (11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9).
“She was a very tough opponent but I like her style of play and today everything went my way. I was playing well from start to finish.” Bernadette Szocs
“I played the match point by point. I was very focused and had to fight for every point; the result does not reflect how hard it was to win this match.” He Zhuojia
“My game was perfect against her; just today she was the better player now I will focus on the doubles.” Matilda Ekholm
Play in the first round of the Women’s Singles event concludes later in the day.