26 Jul 2018

The defeat of Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed; it was just one of a succession of shocks as play commenced in the Men’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australian Open in Geelong on Thursday 26th July.

No less than six of the eight seeds in the matches completed on the opening day of action, stumbled at the first hurdle.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

China’s Yu Ziyang beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov (11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 15-17, 6-11, 11-3) to set the example for colleagues Liu Dingshuo and Zhou Yu. Both halted Japanese aspirations. Liu Dingshuo accounted for Jun Mizutani, the no.8 seed (11-4, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9), Zhou Yu ended the hopes of Koki Niwa, the no.4 seed (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9).

Defeats contrary to expectations for Japan; there was the reverse scenario. Maharu Yoshimura defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chuang Chih-Yuan, the no.10 seed (11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9), Yuya Oshima overcame Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7). Completing the list of upsets, Jeoung Youngsik won the all-Korean affair; he overcame Lee Sangsu, the no.3 seed (12-10, 11-3, 11-8, 11-8).

Notably the only two seeds to survive in the early stages of the Men’s Singles event were Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Korea Republic’s Lim Jonghoon; furthermore, they nearly fell by the wayside. Both had to recover from two games to nil deficits to secure victories. Quadri Aruna, the no.11 seed, eventually overcame Germany’s Ricardo Walther (6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10); Lim Jonghoon, the no.12 seed, ended the aspirations of Spain’s Alvaro Robles (4-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6).

The remaining eight matches in the first round of the Men’s Singles event will be concluded on Friday 27th July.


Meanwhile, in the Women’s Singles event where the opening round was completed in full, the player to cause the biggest upset was Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut; a qualifier, she overcame Cheng I-Ching, the no.5 seed (10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8) on what was not a good round for Chinese Taipei. Cheng Hsien-Tzu lost to China’s Ding Ning, the no.7 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8), as expected but the defeat of Chen Szu-Yu, the no.14 seed, at the hands of Singapore’s Zeng Jian (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 12-10) was not to be anticipated.

Success contrary to seeding for Zeng Jian, it was the same for colleague Yu Mengyu, as it was for Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun and China’s He Zhoujia. Yu Mengyu and Yang Haeun both thwarted Japanese hopes. Yu Mengyu accounted for Miyu Kato (8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11), Yang Haeun defeated Hina Hayata (13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10). Hard fought wins, for He Zhoujia life was less exacting; she defeated Australia’s Jian Fang Lay, the no.16 seed (11-4, 11-5, 11-5, 11-6).

Surprises but not amongst the leading names in the opening round of the Women’s Singles event.

Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed, beat colleague, Minami Ando (11-5, 7-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4); China’s Liu Shiwen, the no.2 seed, overcame Marina Matsuzawa also from Japan (11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
Likewise, flying the flag of the Land of the Rising Sun, Mima Ito, the no.3 seed, opened her account by beating Singapore’s Lin Ye (13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 3-11, 11-4), Miu Hirano, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Korea Republic’s Choi Hyojoo (12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Success for the top seeds, in the opening round of the Men’s Doubles event, it was the same. Jeoung Youngsik and Lee Sangsu, the no.1 seeds, beat India’s Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty (11-6, 11-5, 11-4). Likewise, Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Yuya Oshima, the no.2 seeds, progressed; they accounted for Amalraj Anthony and Manav Vikash Thakkar, also from India (6-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7).

Not to be overlooked, Germany’s Patrick Franziska and Ricardo Walther, the no.3 seeds, overcame the combination of Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Frenchman Simon Gauzy (11-4, 11-5, 11-9); Japan’s Koki Niwa and Jin Ueda, the no.4 seeds ended the hopes of the partnership formed by Sweden’s Anton Källberg and Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8).

In the opening round of the Women’s Doubles event, the top pairs both from Japan were not called to order. Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the no.1 seeds, advanced directly to the quarter-finals as did Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seeds. However, for the next in line it was action stations. Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.3 seeds, beat India’s Sutirtha Mukherjee and Pooja Sahasrabudhe (11-7, 11-8, 11-3); the latter’s colleagues, Manika Batra and Mouma Das, the no.4 seeds, prevailed against Australia’s Chermaine Quah and Michelle Wu (11-3, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4).

Quarter-finalists known; in the Mixed Doubles event the semi-finalists have been realised with the top four pairs all in the mix for honours.

Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee, the top seeds, meet Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching, the no.3 seeds; Lim Jonghoon and Yang Haeun, the no.4 seeds, oppose Maharu Yoshimura and Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.2 seeds.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Australia Open Dimitrij Ovtcharov

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