by Ian Marshall, Editor
Ding Ning was simply imperious; she controlled proceedings from start to finish and thus maintained her unblemished record against Kasumi Ishikawa.
It was the 12th meeting between Ding Ning and Kasumi Ishikawa in a world ranking event; only once has Kasumi Ishikawa extracted more than one game from her fellow left hander; that was two at the semi-final stage of the 2014 Women’s World Cup in Linz, Austria, when a six games verdict was the order of the day.
“Generally I think I performed well in today’s match. Although I won four-nil, I had to keep adjusting during the match. I think Ishikawa was very relaxed on the court and performed really well today.I was able to get into the match rhythm very quickly. I didn’t expect that I would lead 7-0 at the very beginning of the match,but after that I did not control the rhythm of the play well. At that time, Ishikawa also gradually adapted to the pace of the match and tried to catch up. I just told myself not to be much worried. I was still leading and could still control the game. To be frank, I think I’m the underdog for tomorrow’s final but I will give in my best to seek the victory and try to get a better feeling and understanding of the match.” Ding Ning
Somewhat differently for Liu Shiwen, it was reversing the trend.
Just over two months ago on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in Hong Kong, He Zhuojia had beaten Liu Shiwen at the quarter-final stage in a closely contested seven games contest (11-9, 11-5, 3-11, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9).
In Geelong, Liu Shiwen extracted revenge in six games (7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6, 11-7).
“This is my first time in Australia, it’s a very scenic place and I’m happy to be here. I’m very happy with my win today, especially because I lost to Zhuojia earlier this year at the Hong Kong Open. The match today was also not easy, so it feels great to be able to win.” Liu Shiwen.
The final will be played on the evening of Sunday 29th July.