by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
However, especially in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, there were surprises; contrary to expectations Germany’s Meng Fanbo, China’s Gao Yang and Japan’s Hiroto Shinozuka secured semi-final positions.
Notably Gao Yang and Hiroto Shinozuka had been required to compete in the qualification stage; Meng Fanbo started play in the no.11 seeded position.
Impressively at the quarter-final stage Meng Fanbo beat Japan’s Kakeru Sone, the no.4 seed (11-13, 11-8, 14-12, 11-3, 11-9). Meanwhile, in the same round Gao Yang accounted for Germany’s Cedric Meissner (12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7) the fourth round winner in opposition to Austria’s Maciej Kolodziejczk, the no.3 seed (8-11, 11-9, 14-16, 12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3).
Good form from Gao Yang; it was the same from Hiroto Shinozuka. He caused a major third round upset by beating Frenchman Irvin Bertrand, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9), before accounting for Russia’s Maxim Grebnev, the no.15 seed (13-11, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11) and colleague Aoto Asazu, the no.5 seed (13-11, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11) to reserve his semi-final place.
In the penultimate round Truls Moregard plays Meng Fanbo, Gao Yang opposes Hiroto Shinozuka.
Unexpected semi-finalists; it was similar in the Junior Girls’ Singles event but to a lesser degree. Japan’s Yumeno Soma, the no.4 seed, like Adriana Diaz progressed as expected; she beat Russia’s Ekaterina Zironova, the no.8 seed (11-6, 11-3, 11-4, 2-11, 11-4) to reserve her last four place.
Conversely, for Kristina Zironova, the no.2 seed and also from Russia, as for Germany’s Franziska Schreiner, the no.3 seed, there was no last four slot.
Franziska Schreiner was beaten by qualifier Prithika Pavade of France in round three, a contest in which the German held a three games to nil lead before losing by the very narrowest of margins in the seventh game (5-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9). An injection of confidence for Prithika Pavade, in the next round she beat Japan’s Yukari Sugasawa, the no.9 seed (12-10, 11-9, 4-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4) to claim her last four place.
Defeat for Franziska Schreiner in round three, for Kristina Kazantseva it was one round later at the quarter-final stage; she was beaten in four straight games by Japan’s Haruna Ojo (11-5, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9), the outcome guaranteeing that a Japanese player will appear in the final.
In the semi-finals, Haruna Ojio meets Yumeno Soma, Adriana Diaz opposes Prithika Pavade.
The penultimate round matches and title deciding contests in both the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events will be played later in the day.