by Ian Marshall, Editor
Success for Adriana Diaz against the odds but it was very much the favourites who prevailed in the early exchanges; the one other seed to fall being the host nation’s Hana Matelova, the no.15 seed. She was beaten in seven games by Japan’s very impressive 16 year old Miyu Nagasaki (11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8).
Otherwise it was success for the leading names with Japan very much to the forefront.
In addition to Miyu Nagasaki; Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed, beat Germany’s Kristin Lang (11-9, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, 11-7), Miu Hirano, the no.3 seed, accounted for colleague Mizuki Morizono (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5).
Likewise, in the closest contest of the round to date, by the very narrowest of decisions, Saki Shibata, the no.7 seed, overcame Wu Yue of the United States, the reigning Pan American Games champion (8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9); rather less dramatically in the battle of the defenders, Honoka Hashimoto, the no.9 seed, defeated Li Jie of the Netherlands (11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7).
Progress for Japan but there was one defeat; six days after celebrating her 16th birthday and the winner earlier this year on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in Sweden, Yumeno Soma was beaten by Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the no.12 seed (11-7, 11-6, 11-13, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8).
The end of the road for Yumeno Soma, it was also journey’s end for the player who won the Women’s Singles title two years ago in Olomouc; Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, who this year had been required to compete in the qualification tournament, was beaten by Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.10 seed (11-6, 14-12, 11-6, 11-5).
Matches in the lower half of the draw will be played later in day.