by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The winner in 2006 on home soil in Poland, two years later in Austria and in 2010 in Slovenia, Li Qian lost to Che Xiaoxia (12-14, 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9).
Notably on the ITTF World Tour in 2013 in Japan, Che Xiaoxi won the Under 21 Women’s Singles event whilst also reaching the Women’s Singles quarter-finals, a round to which she also advanced in 2015 in Germany. The results underline her pedigree.
On the present day Women’s World Rankings, Ji Eunchae is listed at no.281, Choi Hyojoo at no.59; somewhat similarly Che Xiaoxi is at no.269, Li Qian at no.31.
Two upsets according to current status; as play progressed in the lower half of the draw in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament, there were two further instances of the lower ranked player gaining success.
Portugal’s Maria Xiao, listed at no.62 was beaten by Austria’s Amelie Solja, named at no.93 in one of the closest matches of the day (11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10); Japan’s Miyuu Kihara, ranked no.86 suffered a similar fate to that of Li Qian. She was beaten by the host nation’s Liu Fei, a player with no present day status (11-0, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8).
Success for Liu Fei but it was no real upset; Miyuu Kihara is only 13 years old; conversely Liu Fei was a Women’s Singles quarter-finalist in 2014 in Qatar and the following year in Germany. Realistically she was the favourite.
Meanwhile, as play concluded in the Women’s Singles preliminary round second stage, for the prominent names it was success.
Austria’s Sofia Polcanova beat colleague Karoline Mischek (11-1, 11-8, 11-3, 12-10), Japan’s Sakura Mori overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yu-Peng (14-12, 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8). Likewise, Korea’s Yang Haeun also caused Chinese Taipei problems by defeating Wang Yi-Ju (11-4, 11-5, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7); Canada’s Zhang Mo ended the hopes of Lee Yujin, like Yang Haeun from Korea (8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 24-22, 11-9).
Play in the qualification tournament concludes on Wednesday 30th May.