by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Feng Tianwei was beaten by China’s Mu Zi (8-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7), bronze medallist at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou.
Disappointment for Singapore, for Romania it was mixed fortunes; Elizabeta Samara, the no.13 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of the host nation’s Minami Ando (11-3, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6); to balance the scales, Bernadette Szocs who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, accounted for Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.9 seed (10-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 11-6).
“The first two games I wanted to finish the point too quickly, which was a mistake. She is also a very strong player. I knew if I am not good over the table and attack then no chance. I had to play harder and harder. Tactic was very important as not easy to win without. After I started to get into the match I had nothing to lose. If I lost I would learn from but I won so now I get ready for the next match.” Bernadette Szocs
Two upsets, otherwise for the leading names it was success with the host nation very much in the lens of the camera. Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed and Mima Ito the no.3 seed, both accounted for adversaries from Korea Republic. Kasumi Ishikawa beat Kim Hayeong (9-11, 11-1, 11-7, 12-10, 11-5), Mima Ito the no.3 seed, accounted Yoo Eunchong (11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9).
Similarly impressive, Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, overcame Portugal’s Fu Yu (11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7), whilst Hina Hayata, the no.12 seed, beat Singapore’s Zhou Yihan (11-3, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5). Notably Hina Hayata, who hails from the local area, had plenty of support; her headmaster alongside some 370 students from her school were in the tiered seating cheering every move!
Success for Japan and there was notable success for China. Wang Manyu, the no.2 seed, accounted for Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Nam (11-7, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), Chen Xingtong the no.6 seed, defeated the host nation’s Miyu Nagasaki (11-6, 11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7). Likewise, Liu Shiwen, the no.8 seed, made her intentions clear; she ended the hopes of Britt Eerland of the Netherlands (11-4, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5).
Meanwhile, not to be upstaged; amongst the leading names, Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seed, caused the Singaporean camp more pain. She halted the aspirations of Lin Ye (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2).
The second round of the Women’s Singles event will commence later in the day.