by Ian Marshall, Editor
Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.4 seed, beat Japanese national team colleague, Mima Ito, the no.6 seed, in a most imposing manner; she emerged successful in four straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11).
Success for Kasumi Ishikawa as status advised; in the all-Chinese clash it was the reverse scenario. Liu Shiwen, the no.5 seed, accounted for Wang Manyu, the no.3 seed, in a hard fought six games engagement (8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9).
However, despite what the seeding may read, were both outcomes somewhat unexpected? Prior to the meetings in Daejeon both Kasumi Ishikawa and Liu Shiwen had experienced defeats against the round of last eight opponents.
At the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Bulgaria Open, Kasumi Ishikawa had beaten Mima Ito in the Women’s Singles final; the following week when they met again in the title deciding contest in the Czech Republic, the decision was reversed. Mima Ito emerged victorious; more pertinently earlier this year at the beginning of June in China, Mima Ito had prevailed in their quarter-final encounter.
It was a not too dissimilar situation with regards to Liu Shiwen and Wang Manyu. In March in Qatar in the final of the Women’s Singles event, the verdict had been decided in favour of Liu Shiwen, more recently at the semi-final stage in Japan, Wang Manyu had turned the tables.
“It was slightly easier than when I last played her. I was slightly more familiar with her game. I don’t expect too much in this competition. I will be happy winning each game as it comes.” Liu Shiwen
In the penultimate round, Liu Shiwen meets the winner of the contest between colleague Chen Meng and Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching; for Kasumi Ishikawa, it is either the host nation’s Suh Hyowon or China’s Zhu Yuling.
The remaining Women’s Singles quarter-final matches commence play on Saturday 21st July.