by Ian Marshall, Editor
Textbook backspin skills combined with attacking play when the chances arose, Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato, the no.2 seeds, accounted for Singaporean qualifiers Lin Ye and Zeng Jian in three straight games (11-6, 11-9, 11-7) to reserve their place in the final.
No hint of drama, for Hina Hayata and Mima Ito, the top seeds, facing the Korea Republic’s Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, the no.3 seeds, the word drama was arguably an understatement.
Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun, two games to one ahead, established a 10-4 lead in the fourth. Incredibly, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito recovered, they won the next six points; then saved a further match point, seven in total, before on their first game point seizing the opportunity.
The recovery was a massive confidence booster for the Japanese duo, for the Korea Republic duo it was a dagger in the heart. In the decisive fifth game, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito won the first eight points before at 10-3 holding seven match points. Now the tables were turned, Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun mounted a recovery; they saved five match points but could not match the feat in the previous game of their adversaries.
A sigh of relief, a jump for joy, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito converted at the sixth attempt (11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8).
Earlier in the day at the quarter-final stage, Hina Hayata and Mima Ito had beaten colleagues Miu Hirano and Miyu Nagasaki, the no.5 seeds (9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9); Honoka Hashimoto and Hitomi Sato had ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Hsien-Tu and Liu Hsing-Yin, the no.6 seeds (11-5, 11-2, 11-6).
Commencing the finals’ schedule, the title decider is scheduled for 5.30pm (local time) on Sunday 29th July.