25 Jul 2018

Successful last year at the ITTF Challenge Series tournament in Zagreb and the highest rated player on duty in the Women’s Singles qualification tournament that precedes the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open in Geelong, Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto experienced a somewhat surprise defeat in her opening round contest.

On the morning of Wednesday 25th July, she was beaten by China’s Fan Siqi in four straight games (11-9, 11-4, 12-10, 11-9).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Presently on the Women’s World Rankings Honoka Hashimoto is listed at no.239, Honoka Hashimoto at no.24, furthermore, the defeat ends the hopes of Honoka Hashimoto progressing to the main draw. On the opening day of play, Fan Siqi had been beaten by colleague, Li Jiayi in five games (11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8).

Barring absence, it is mathematically impossible for Honoka Hsashimo to secure top spot in the group.

Defeat at the hands of Fan Siqi but if subjected to greater international exposure no doubt her status would be much higher.

Notably on the ITTF World Tour in 2014, she was the runner up in both Argentina and Brazil, whilst earlier this year at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open, after overcoming Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem in the opening round, she was beaten by colleague Wu Yang.

It would seem she has learned from that defeat; like Wu Yang, Honoka Hashimoto is a defensive player.

Defeat and facing exit door, it is a similar scenario for a further leading Japanese name on Women’s Singles qualification tournament duty. Maki Shiomi, presently listed at no.43 on the Women’s World Rankings, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chia-Hui, named at no.301. She suffered defeat in six games (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11, 15-13, 11-8).

The previous day, Lin Chia-Hui had lost to China’s He Zhoujia in four straight games (11-3, 11-6, 11-4, 11-3). In order to secure first place in the group, Maki Shiomi must beat He Zhoujia in four straight games; that is a tall order.

Two upsets according to status; for the other leading names on duty as matters commenced on the second day of qualification action there was success.

Li Jie of the Netherlands beat New Zealand’s Cheng Zhiying (11-2, 11-2, 11-3, 11-1), Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun accounted for India’s Pooja Sahasrabudhe (11-6, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4).

Meanwhile, in a similar vein, Yui Hamamoto, like Honoka Hashimoto and Maki Shiomi from Japan, accounted for Yang Haeun’s colleague Shin Yubin (14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6); Singapore’s Yu Mengyu emerged successful and caused Japan more pain, she beat Shiho Matsudaira (11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7).

Only players finishing in first places in each group advance to the main draw; the qualification event concludes later in the day.

World Tour 2017 Seamaster Australian Open Honoka Hashimoto Fan Siqi

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