by Ian Marshall, Editor
Consistency provided the answers, the reliable backspin play of Kim Song I, the secure counter attacking skills of Chen Szu-Yu.
Calm and composed, Chen Szu-Yu beat Dina Meshref (11-9, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7) eventually a resolute Kim Song I overcame Sweden’s Matilda Ekholm, the no.14 seed (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 7-11, 12-10).
The previous week at the Liebherr 2018 ITTF European Championships in Alicante, in the third round of the Women’s Singles event, Matilda Ekholm had been beaten in four straight games by Germany’s Han Ying, like Kim Song I a defensive player. The performance in Chengdu was much more assured.
In fact in the seventh game Matilda Ekholm held the upper hand. She led 3-2, Kim Song I called “Time Out” but the next two points went to the Swede. It was at that stage of the contest when Kim Song I relied almost entirely on defence.
Leading 5-3, Matilda Ekholm elected for “Time Out” but displaying extreme patience Kim Song I levelled at 6-all. Matilda Ekholm on three occasions established a one point lead, always Kim Song I levelled before at 10-9 holding match point. Matilda Ekholm saved the first not the second.
Kim Song I playing in her first ever Women’s World Cup and the lowest ranked player in the group had remained unbeaten to reserve top spot; for Matilda Ekholm, it was second position and progress to the main draw; for both a satisfactory day.
Play in the main draw commences on Saturday 29th September.
Uncle Pop 2018 ITTF Women’s World Cup: Statistic provided by Beijing Sport University