by Ian Marshall, Editor
Furthermore, when the Women’s Singles event is in question, Feng Tianwei is the most successful player in the history of the tournament, an event which first joined the ITTF World Tour in 2001.
Success last year in Incheon, when beating Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa in the final, was the third time she had clinched the coveted title. In 2009 she beat Hong Kong’s Jiang Huajun in the title decider, before in 2011 accounting for the host nation’s Moon Hyunjung in the title deciding contest.
She is the only player to have won the Women’s Singles title at the ITTF World Tour Korea Open on more than two occasions; her nearest rival is Hong Kong’s Tie Yana, now retired from international duty, she won in 2002 in Gangneung City and in 2006 in Seoul.
Furthermore, overall, Feng Tianwei has reached the final five times. She was the runner up in 2010 when beaten by Spain’s Shen Yanfei, four years later Germany’s Han Ying proved her nemesis.
Other illustrious names appear on this year’s entry list but none can match Feng Tianwei. China’s Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen have twice contested the Women’s Singles final, the former winning in 2016; the latter four years earlier in 2012. Likewise, the host nation’s Suh Hyuwon beat Kasumi Ishikawa in an epic 2013 title decider in Incheon.
Twice the runner up for Kasumi Ishikawa; the one further player on duty this year in the Women’s Singles event who has come so near yet so far is colleague, Mima Ito; she was the silver medallist in 2015 when experiencing defeat at the hands of team mate Ai Fukuhara.
However, for all former finalists on view; to repeat the successes of days gone by, they will have to upset the order of merit. Kasumi Ishikawa is the no.4 seed, Liu Shiwen and Mima Ito are the next in line with Feng Tianwei being the no.9 seed. Ding Ning is the no.12 seed, Suh Hyowon the no.15 seed.
China’s Chen Meng, Zhu Yuling and Wang Manyu, players who have never reached a Women’s Singles final at an ITTF World Tour Korea Open tournament, occupy the top three positions.