by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
There were few problems for Liu Shiwen; she ended the hopes of brave Hong Kong qualifier Lam Yee Lok in four straight games (11-1, 11-5, 11-1, 14-12); likewise Saki Shibata was in an unforgiving mood. The no.4 seed, she beat Korean qualifier, Kang Dayeon without the loss of a single game (11-9, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6).
Meanwhile for Honoka Hashomoto, the no.3 seed, life was only marginally more difficult; she surrendered just one game as she overcame the host nation’s Nanthana Komwong, the no.10 seed (9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8, 11-1).
However, for Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seed, life was far more exacting; she needed the full seven games to end the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Liu Yu-Hsin, the no.19 seed, a contest in which Liu Yu-Hsin mounted a spirited recovery when trailing by three games to one (11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 11-5).
The end of the road for two qualifiers in the guise of Kang Dayeon and Lam Yee Lok; for two more it was success. Korea’s Kim Danbi beat China’s Yuan Yuan, the no.31 seed (11-6, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6); the latter’s colleague, Zuo Yue ended the progress of Audrey Zarif of France, the no.12 seed (11-7, 4-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4).
Two upsets and there was arguably one more; however, the familiarity factor needed to be brought into the equation. Mizuku Morizono, the no.13 seed, ousted Japanese colleague, Maki Shiomi, the no.6 seed (11-4, 11-6, 11-5, 11-3).
Defeat for the sixth seed but not for the no.8 seed; to the delight of the host nation, Suthasini Sawettabut accounted for Portugal’s Shao Jieni, the no.23 seed (11-6, 11-2, 11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6).
At the quarter-final stage in the top half of the draw Liu Shiwen meets Suthasini Sawettabut, Mizuki Morizono opposes Saki Shibata; in the opposite half it is Honoka Hashimoto versus Kim Danbi, Zuo Yue against Hitomi Sato.
The matches will be played later in the day.