25 Aug 2018

Runner up one year ago, when beaten by colleague Mima Ito in the final; in Olomouc on the evening of Saturday 25th August, Kasumi Ishikawa took one step forward in her attempt to finish one step higher.

At the semi-final stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open, in an all-Japanese penultimate round clash she beat colleague Saki Shibata, the no.7 seed (11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The consistency achieved by Kasumi Ishikawa proved too great for her gallant adversary who has proved one of the most honest competitors you could wish to behold; simply Saki Shibata enters the fray and gives her best.

Notably in addition to Under 21 Women’s Singles titles, she has won the Women’s Singles event at three ITTF Challenge Series tournaments; last year she prevailed in Belgium, this year she succeeded in Croatia and Spain.

Furthermore, the results gained by Saki Shibata have been most consistent, there are no defeats which could really be termed surprises; one wonders how near she is the breaking into what appears the current first team Japanese trio of Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano and Mima Ito with Hina Hayata knocking at the door. I would suggest that of the chasing group, which is longer than ever, overall this year Saki Shibata has the best results.

Success for Kasumi Ishikawa against an adversary who was under no great pressure and had nothing to lose; a most professional performance was the order of the day; a level of performance she will need in the final.

She meets China’s Wen Jia, she beat fellow compatriot and qualifier, Wu Yang in contest that ended in total anti-climax; at the end of the third game, Wu Yang was forced to retire injured (8-11, 11-4, 11-6, w/o).

“I think tomorrow there will be a thrilling match. At this stage of the tournament every player is a great player. I look forward to tomorrow’s final!” Wen Jia

The final will be played on the afternoon of Sunday 26th August.

World Tour 2018 Seamaster Czech Open Kasumi Ishikawa Saki Shibata Wu Yang Wen Jia

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Day 4 - Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Czech Open

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