05 Apr 2018

While the identity of the 2018 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open Women's Singles champion is yet to be determined the fact is that the title on offer in the category will be presented to a representative of Japan with the country's players occupying all four available spots in the semi-finals.

Arguably the headline name in the last four is that of Minami Ando; the no.10 seed booked her place in the penultimate round with a fine display against Satsuki Odo (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4), the player responsible for the elimination of top seed Hitomi Sato one round earlier.

by Simon Daish

Awaiting Minami Ando in the semi-finals is another Japanese opponent after third seed Sakura Mori held off a late comeback attempt in her closing fixture of the day.

Leading by three games to one Sakura Mori’s nerve was tested when Miyu Nagasaki responded with back-to-back game wins but the former of the two remained focused on the task at hand, claiming the victory in the decider (11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 4-11, 3-11, 11-3).

Another all-Japan encounter to feature the full seven games distance came right at the foot of the draw: Sitting on the cusp of defeat yet Miyu Kato, second seed, refused to give up the fight as she recovered from a difficult position to beat no.7 seed Maki Shiomi (8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-6) to keep her gold medal hopes in tact.

Puerto Rican star Adriana Diaz looked well placed to reach the last four in Otocec, however, a one game lead over Honoka Hashimoto wasn’t capitalised upon as the fourth seed from Japan claimed four games in a row to earn her place in the line-up for day three (10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).

Semi-finals action from the Women’s Singles event gets underway on Friday 6th April from 10.00am (local time).

Challenge Series 2018 Slovenia Open Honoka Hashimoto Miyu Kato Sakura Mori Minami Ando

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Day 11 - 2018 Commonwealth Games