by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
She confronted colleague Mu Zi, bronze medallist at the Qoros 2016 World Championships in Suzhou, an achievement that only one player in the whole event could match; last year in Düsseldorf at the Liebherr 2017 World Championships, Miu Hirano, in the top half of the draw in Bremen, had likewise stood proudly on the third step of the podium.
Most impressively Chen Xingtong accounted for Mu Zi, a qualifier, in four straight games (11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
“It was my first match in this tournament. I know Mu Zi very well, I am quite satisfied with my performance.” Chen Xingtong
Impressive from the very active Chen Xingtong, it was the same from her colleagues with Fan Siqi and Sun Yingsha ending the hopes of Hong Kong. Fan Siqi beat Doo Hoi Kem, the no.6 seed (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9); Sun Yingsha accounted for Lee Ho Ching, the no.10 seed (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7).
Similarly, Wu Yang was not to be denied; her defensive skills as reliable as ever, she ended the hopes of Japan’s Sakura Mori, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-8, 13-15, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10)
“I’m satisfied with my performance today. It’s my first time playing against Mori, her play and rhythm was not what how I expected prior to the match and I had some difficulties with that at the start. It’s also my first match in the main hall so I’m not quite used to the lighting yet. Also maybe the hall is big and airy, the way the ball was returned felt a little light, I made some easy mistakes, I was quite passive in my game. I’m happy to be able to win this match.” Wu Yang
A noteworthy performance from Wu Yang, it was the same from Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching it was from the Japanese duo of Kasumi Ishikawa and Mima Ito; all three beat players who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament.
Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed, accounted for colleague, Hitomo Sato (11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7), Mima Ito, the no.3 seed, overcame Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (11-8. 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8); Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seed, ended the hopes of Saki Shibata, also from Japan (11-3, 3-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9).
Play in the second round of the Women’s Singles event takes place later in the evening.