by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Mima Ito was beaten by China’s Sun Yingsha (7-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-6) a player who been required to compete in the three day qualification tournament; Miu Hirano suffered at the hands of Korea’s Suh Hyowon, the no.14 seed (11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 4-11, 11-7);
“Firstly, in my opinion, she is one of the tougher opponents. Before this match, I thought of possibility of losing or playing to a deciding game. I did my full preparation for the match. I thought of losing since I am not familiar with her play and she plays faster and makes many changes; in the first game I tried to adapt. I led three-one in the match but I had been a little lucky; when Japanese players play against Chinese players, they tend to make a really big effort. I got flustered after she played few good points. At three-three, when 5-5 in deciding game, I played firmly and told myself that I can’t lose. The difficulty was in the deciding game when 3-all, the umpire said the time of my preparation to serve was too long and gave one point to Ito, I took this seriously. I told myself the most important thing is to win the match and not lose.” Sun Yingsha
Success for Suh Hyowon on what was a good early evening for Korea. In addition Jeon Jihee beat fellow qualifier Austria’s Sofia Polcanova in tense full distance seven games duel decided by the minimal two point margin in the seventh game (10-12, 12-14, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11. 11-9); somewhat more comfortably Yang Haeun upset the odds to overcome Germany’s Han Ying, the no.15 seed (11-3, 12-10, 11-9, 14-12).
A place in the quarter-finals for one defensive player in the guise of Suh Hyowon; there was also a place for another, Wu Yang accounted for Chinese National Team colleague Fan Siqi (11-4, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2).
Surprises, qualifiers through to the last eight; for Feng Tianwei, the top seed, there was a scare, for Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed and Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seed, life was less fraught.
Feng Tianwei needed the full seven games to beat China’s Huang Yingqi (8-11, 11-3, 4-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-6), rather more comfortably Kasumi Ishikawa overcame the latter’s colleague Chen Xingtong, the no.9 seed (11-9, 11-8, 20-18, 11-6), whilst in a similar manner, Cheng I–Ching ended the progress of Wen Jia, like Chen Xingtong from China (11-8, 14-12, 11-7, 11-8).
At the quarter-final stage Feng Tianwei meets Jeon Jihee, Yang Haeun opposes Suh Hyowon; in the lower half of the draw Sun Yinsha confronts Cheng I-Ching, Wu Yang opposes Kasumi Ishikawa.
The quarter-finals of the Women’s Singles event will be played on Saturday 25th March.