by Ian Marshall, Editor
An upset according to rating; presently on the Women’s World Rankings, Mima Ito is listed at no.6; He Zhuojia stands at no.147.
However, history suggests that the defeat experienced by Mima Ito was to be anticipated. Both players from the same generation, Mima Ito is 17 years old, He Zhuojia is two years older; of the three meetings in international competitions prior to the engagement in Geelong, the decision had always gone in favour of He Zhuojia.
Medium length pimpled rubber on the backhand, making life difficult for Mima Ito to play at her favoured fast pace; He Zhuojia won when they met at the ITTF Cadet Challenge in Guam in 2012, as well as later on the ITTF World Tour in 2014 in Japan and in the Junior Girls’ Team competition at the Asian Junior and Cadet Championships in 2016 in Bangkok.
Success for He Zhuojia, as the day ended, there was also success for Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed, she beat Japanese colleague, Hitomi Sato, the no.8 seed, in five games (11-4, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6) and thus repeated the win enjoyed in 2015 when the tournament was staged in the Gold Coast.
Furthermore, Kasumi Ishikawa also replicated the success of earlier this year, in March she had beaten Hitomi Sato in the opening round in Germany.
Kasumi Ishikawa now meets the winner of the contest between China’s Ding Ning and Japan’s Miu Hirano; He Zhuojia opposes either colleague Liu Shiwen or Korea Republic’s Yang Haeun. Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen start the favourites; notably in Hong Kong, He Zhuojia beat Liu Shiwen in the round of the last eight.
The remaining quarter-final matches plus both semi-finals will be played on Saturday 28th July.