by Ian Marshall, Editor
Defeat for one defending champion from the Land of the Rising Sun and as the day came to a close there was defeat for another.
Winner of the Men’s Singles title one year ago, Tomokazu Harimoto, the no.2 seed, after recording a quarter-final success in opposition to Germany’s Patrick Franziska, the no.9 seed (2-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8), was beaten by Portugal’s Marcos Freitas, the no.4 seed and champion four years ago (11-5, 1-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6).
Awaiting Marcos Freitas in the final is China’s Zheng Peifeng, a player with no current world ranking owing to an absence in recent times from the international scene.
Similar to Marcos Freitas, he caused Germany pain, at the quarter-final stage, he beat Bastian Steger, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4), before overcoming the man in form. He ousted England’s Liam Pitchford, also a qualifier, in five games (11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5, 11-9); notably one round earlier Liam Pitchford had also taken a liking to Germany, he had ended the hopes of Dimitrij Ovtcharov, the top seed (13-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the final of the Women’s Singles event, the opponent for Wen Jia is Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, the top seed and one year ago the runner up. At the quarter-final stage she halted the adventures of Puerto Rican qualifier, Adriana Diaz (12-14, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5), prior to overcoming, colleague, Saki Shibata, the no.7 seed (11-7, 12-10, 11-6, 11-13, 11-6).
The finals of all events will be played the afternoon of Sunday 26th August