by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Success for Suh Hyowon and according to seeding an upset but not when past results were taken into consideration; it was their eighth meeting on the international stage since they had confronted each other in the Women’s Singles event on the ITTF World Tour in 2013 in Korea.
Prior to the engagement in Bremen, Suh Hyowon had won five of the meetings, most notably the most recent, last year at the 2017 Asian Cup in Ahmedabad.
“I didn’t expect that I could reach the final. I just played one point by one point. It finally brought me to the final; the final is going to be quite a challenge for me; though I am a defensive player, I will try my best to keep attacking.” Suh Hyowon
True to the best traditions of Korean defenders such as Kim Kyungah and Park Miyoung, serving with the backhand, making contact with the ball on the smooth side of the racket and then turning the racket in the hand so the pimpled rubber is on the backhand, prove a telling factor. Also, the fact that more than her illustrious predecessors, Suh Hyowon was prepared to execute a forehand top spin on regular occasions, asked questions and made it difficult for Feng Tianwei to establish a rhythm
“I couldn’t receive her serves well and I made too many unforced errors because of that fact; as a result she was unable to take control during the match. During the breaks I was thinking of strategies how to receive her service, because I think once that has had been solved, I would not be at such a disadvantage.” Feng Tianwei
Defeat for Feng Tianwei but it was success for Kasumi Ishikawa against an adversary who is no stranger and has proved a most difficult opponent in the past; prior to the meeting in Bremen, commencing with the 2010 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open they had met on 14 previous occasions in world ranking events, the most recent being at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open when Kasimi Ishikawa had won in seven games. It was the same in Bremen.
“It was a tough match against Cheng I-Ching, I just made sure I was totally focused and played one point at a time; I didn’t expect to reach the final. Now I must rest.” Kasumi Ishikawa
The final will be played later in the day.