by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The biggest disappointment for Hong Kong was the defeat of Minnie Soo Wai Yam, the no.2 seed. She was beaten by China’s Wang Yidi, the no.12 seed (6-11, 11-1, 11-5, 11-2); the 20 year old was never able to find the form that had seen her sensationally overcome Ding Ning in the semi-final contest against China at the recent Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships.
Defeat for Minnie Soo Wai Yam; there were also defeats for colleagues Liu Qi, Lee Ka Yee and Chau Wing Sze. All lost to Japanese adversaries. Liu Qi, the no.20 seed, was beaten by Saki Shibata, the top seed (11-3, 11-4, 11-7), Lee Ka Yee lost to Miyu Nagasaki, the no.8 seed (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8). Likewise Chau Wing Sze suffered at the hands of Hitomi Sato the no.17 seed (11-4, 11-7, 11-7).
All three results were very much as anticipated; notably Lee Ka Yee and Chau Wing Sze have no current world ranking.
Wins abundant for Japan; there were two more, both according to plan. Honoka Hashimoto, the no.18 seed, beat Chinese Taipei’s Fang Sih-Han (11-2, 11-1, 11-6); Miyu Kihara, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Audrey Zarif of France, the no.11 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-8).
Five quarter-final places for Japan, the remaining three belong to China. In addition to Wang Yidi, Chen Ke, the no.3 seed, beat Yemeno Soma, the no.22 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-8), in the one second round clash that witnessed a Japanese defeat. Meanwhile, in the all China clash, He Zhuojia, a player with no current world ranking, defeated colleague Zhang Rui, the no.6 seed and winner earlier this year in Qatar. Success was gained by the minimal two point margin in what proved the closest contest of the round (5-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11).
At the quarter-final stage in the top half of the draw Saki Shibata meets Miyu Nagasaki, Honoka Hashimoto opposes Chen Ke; in the lower half it is Miyuu Kihara versus Hitomi Sato, He Zhuojia against Wang Yidi.
The Under 21 Women’s Singles event will be played to a close on Wednesday 23rd May.