by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seed, beat China’s Wu Yang (14-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7); Suh Hyonwon, the no.14 seed emerged successful in the all Korean duel; she ended the progress of Yan Haeun (11-6, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4, 11-7). Both Wu Yang and Yang Haeun had been required to compete in the three day qualification tournament.
The success gained by Kasumi Ishikawa reflects her progress, especially her improvement against defensive players. At the semi-final stage of the recent 2018 Team World Cup in London, she beat DPR Korea’s Kim Song I in three straight games (11-3, 11-8, 11-7; in the opening round in Bremen she accounted for colleague Hitomi Sato (11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7).
Arguably, she is well acquainted with Hitomi Sato and perhaps the result does not carry great weight but when considering her performances in opposition to Wu Yang, a true reflection is revealed. From the 2009 ITTF World Tour China Open to the 2013 Asian Cup in Hong Kong, Kasumi Ishikawa lost all six encounters. In 2014 she won a titanic seven games duel on the ITTF World Tour in Kuwait before in 2016 losing in Germany.
However, last year when they met at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open, Kasumi Ishikawa won; it was a portent for today.
“I’m in good form now. I played really well in my matches yesterday and today. I’m satisfied. I beat her last year at the German Open, so I was feeling very positive before the match. Also I was well prepared; when she was catching up, I just stayed calm and patient.” Kasumi Ishikawa
Success for Kasumi Ishikawa against the “Bodyguard”, the player who in the past has rarely lost to foreign opposition and protects her colleagues from foreign foes; the defence is classic.
Suh Hyowon, the “Dancing Queen” with nimble footwork, amongst the leading defensive players in the world, she is the one the most prepared to attack; against Yang Haeun that proved a vital attribute
“During the match, I took initiative in attacking, which made Yang Haeun a bit nervous. So I kept on attacking, it finally brought me victory. I will have a good preparation for tomorrow’s match. I will try to be active from the beginning of the match and focus on attacking.” Suh Hyowon
The remaining quarter-final Women’s Singles contests will be played later in the evening.