by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
An upset and earlier in the day, she had given signs that such a performance of note was in the offing; in her opening match she had caused China’s Zhu Yuling, the no.2 seed and defending champion, a whole host of problems. She had won the first two games before losing the next three to experience a full distance defeat by the minimal two point margin in the deciding game (7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-1, 11-9).
Testing times for Zhu Yuling in her opening match of the day, in her concluding contest life was less fraught. She beat Korea’s Yang Haeun in three straight games (11-6, 11-6, 11-7) to maintain her unbeaten record and thus reserved her place in the quarter-finals. Second place finished in the hands of Doo Hoi Kem, who likewise advances directly to the round of the last eight.
First place for Zhu Yuling, it was the same for colleague Chen Meng, the top seed as it was for Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed.
Both Chen Meng and Kasumi Ishikawa accounted for adversaries from Thailand in their concluding group stage contests. Chen Meng beat Suthasini Sawettabut (11-1, 11-4, 11-6), Kasumi Ishikawa overcame Nanthana Konwong (11-5, 11-6, 11-8).
Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching duly finished in second place behind Chen Meng as status predicted; similarly Korea’s Suh Hyowon concluded matters next in line to Kasumi Ishikawa. In the concluding group phase contests, Cheng I-Ching beat Hong Kong’s Lee Ho Ching (11-8, 14-16, 12-10, 11-7); Suh Hyowon overcame Chen Szu-Yu, like Cheng I-Ching also from Chinese Taipei (11-8, 14-16, 12-10, 11-7).
Cheng I-Ching and Suh Hyowon finished the day in second places in their respective groups and thus likewise alongside Doo Hoi Kem reserved quarter-final places; for Suthasini Sawettabut, Chen Szu-Yu and Miu Hirano it was third place. They now join Ayhika Mukherjee, the player who topped the regional group, in the challenge round; the winners of the two challenge round matches gain main draw places.
Suthasini Sawettabut plays Miu Hirano; Ayhika Mukherjee opposes Chen Szu-Yu.
The challenge round followed by quarter-final and semi-final matches will be played on Saturday 7th April.