by Ian Marshall, Editor
It will be the first time in a world ranking tournament that Zhu Yuling and Sofia Polcanova have met; somewhat differently, Ding Ning and Suh Hyowon are no strangers. They have confronted each other five times; notably, Ding Ning has won all five, the most recent encounters being on the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour in Qatar and in Australia.
Likewise, Kasumi Ishikawa, the no.3 seed, starts as the favourite against Japanese colleague, Miu Hirano, the no.5 seed; four prior meetings in world ranking events, all four in favour of Kasumi Ishikawa, including the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Qatar Open earlier this year.
However, contests between colleagues are difficult to predict and can produce what appear unexpected outcomes; furthermore in the opening round in Chengdu, Miu Hirano was in scintillating form against DPR Korea’s Kim Song I, winning in straight games (11-7, 11-9, 11-5, 11-3); conversely, Kasumi Ishikawa struggled somewhat, she had to recover from a two games to nil deficit to beat Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu (4-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8).
Clear evidence, in the remaining quarter-final encounter, the verdict is less clear when history is considered; Cheng I-Ching, like Chen Szu-Yu from Chinese Taipei and the no.4 seed, confronts Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem, the no.7 seed. They have met on five previous occasions with Doo Hoi Kem one ahead but perhaps more pertinent is that Doo Hoi Kem prevailed earlier this year when they met at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Cup in Halmstad.
Doo Hoi Kem and Cheng I-Ching appear in the top half of the draw, the same as Zhu Yuling and Sofia Polcanova; Ding Ning and Suh Hyowon alongside Kasumi Ishikawa and Miu Hiranon are in the lower half.
Uncle Pop 2018 ITTF Women’s World Cup: Statistic provided by Beijing Sport University