26 Jul 2018

A formidable pair but not seeded, China’s Gu Yuting and Li Jiayi emerged the combination to attract the attention as play commenced in the Women’s Doubles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open in Geelong on the morning of Thursday 26th July.

Similar to Singapore’s Lin Ye and Zeng Jian; they accounted for adversaries who received direct entries to the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Lin Ye and Zeng Jian beat the host nation’s Jee Minhyung and Nie Mingxuan, the no.8 seeds (11-6, 13-11, 11-4), earlier Gu Yuting and Li Jiayi had overcome the European combination of Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova and Spain’s Galia Dvorak, the no.7 seeds (11-7, 11-8, 11-8).

“This is our first doubles match in the tournament, we are not familiar with our opponents but we were fully prepared. We are looking to win the title of course because we are the only Chinese female doubles pair. We are still new unlike the other doubles pairs who have co-operated for a long time before, so we need to make a great effort.” Li Jiayi

Wins contrary to status; in the remaining opening round Women’s Doubles contests that were required, it was success as seeding advised.

Notably Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.3 seeds and with seven ITTF World Tour Women’s Doubles titles to their credit, the most successful pair on duty in Geelong, made an admirable start to their quest for a podium finish. They accounted for India’s Sutirtha Mukherjee and Pooja Sahasrabudhe (11-7, 11-8, 11-3).

“The first two games were bit tight but we managed to turn the situation around; we took a “Time Out”; that was the turning point in the match.” Jeon Jihee

Defeat for India and there was further disappointment, Ayhika Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkar lost to Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin (11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11); however, there was success for the sub-continent. Manika Batra and Mouma Das, the no.4 seeds, beat Australia’s Chermaine Quah and Michelle Wu (11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Success for Manika Batra and Mouma Das, in the one remaining opening round Women’s Doubles engagement there was success for Japan. Miu Hirano and Miyu Nagasaki, the n.5 seeds, combined to beat Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo and Shin Yubin but it was close; victory by the narrowest of decisions was the outcome (9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9).

“We were controlled by the opponents in the beginning and didn’t play that well. After a “Time Out”, we started to gain our pace and played better. In the fifth game, when our opponents caught up after we had a 9-1 lead, we panicked and couldn’t think what to do, so we were glad to get the last points to win.” Miu Hirano

“We played relaxed and we became confident as we recovered but rushed a bit on the last two services. It’s a pity that we lost in the end but it was a good experience.” Choi Hyojoo

in the quarter-finals, Miu Hirano and Miyu Nagasaki now meet colleagues Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, who were not called to opening round action; Gu Yuting and Li Jiayi oppose Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun. In the adjacent half of the draw Manika Batra and Mouma Das confront Lin Ye and Zhou Yihan, Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin play Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seeds, like Hina Hayata and Mima Ito not called to first round action.

Both quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Women’s Doubles event will be played on Friday 27th July.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Australia Open Gu Yuting Zeng Jian Li Jiayi Lin Ye

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