by Simon Daish
Miyu Nagasaki clinched one of the outstanding results of the day: the Japanese competitor sealed her spot in the main draw of the Women’s Singles tournament in style, taking down high profile opposition in the process as she stormed to a straight games victory over Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee (11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10).
It was a difficult day at the office for representatives of Germany as all three of the country’s hopefuls fell at the final qualification hurdle. Perhaps the most surprising result saw Han Ying lose out at the hands of Russian opponent Yulia Prokhorova (11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 11-13, 11-7, 13-11). Petrissa Solja and Nina Mittelham also failed to negotiate their encounters as China’s He Zhuojia (11-2, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10) and Canada’s Zhang Mo (11-8, 11-9, 11-3, 13-11) moved through to the main draw.
Disappointment for Germany and there were similar emotions for athletes competing for Singapore: despite establishing an early lead, Yu Mengyu proved unable to prevent a victory for Chinese opponent Gu Yuting (10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8) while Zhou Yihan and Zeng Jian also exited the proceedings.
Much of the excitement heading into the second day of qualifying was centred around Zhang Jike’s return to international action and the Chinese superstar didn’t disappoint.
Starting off his Men’s Singles qualification campaign with a six games win against Niagol Stoyanov (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 14-12, 5-11, 12-10), Zhang Jike gave his fans even more to cheer about later in the day as he accounted for fellow compatriot Ma Te (11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 5-11, 18-16, 11-5) to book his place in the main competition.
Japan has a plethora of young talented players rising through the ranks and one of the country’s stars Yukiya Uda produced a big shock, prevailing against a player ranked over 100 positions higher in Belgium’s Cedric Nuytinck (11-9, 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 7-11, 13-11) to qualify for the Men’s Singles draw.
Jon Persson, who earlier in the day knocked out fellow Swedish player Pär Gerell, caused an upset in the evening session of play – in a dramatic battle with German rival Ricardo Walther it was the Swede who came out on top across six games (10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8).
China’s Wang Yidi and Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei became the first players to celebrate title success following their outstanding performances in the respective Under 21 Women’s Singles and Under 21 Men’s Singles events: off to a slow start but Wang Yidi eventually found her rhythm as she upstaged Chen Ke by three games to one (7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6) while Lin Yun-Ju saw off Cho Seungmin by the same number of games (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9).